Athlete Ruswahl Samaai and soccer player Thato Letsoso received the top honours when the University of Johannesburg held their annual sports awards gala function at the Randpark Golf Club in Johannesburg last night.
It was the third year in a row that Samaai received the Sportsman of the Year accolade, while Letsoso was recognised after a number of successes on the soccer field in 2018.
The student-athlete award, which covers academic achievement and sporting excellence, went to rugby star Wian Conradie.
He has averaged 79.2% over four years in his quantity surveying course, while playing for the UJ and Namibian teams.
The 27-year-old Samaai, a fourth-year logistics student, took the bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in Australia in April with a leap of 8.22m.
He also competed in the IAAF Diamond League finals in Switzerland where he finished second overall by jumping 8.32m.
One of his best performances came in the African Championships in Asaba, Nigeria, when he walked away with the gold medal with a jump of 8.45m.
The 22-year-old Letsoso, a third-year sports psychology student, captained UJ and the University Sport South Africa team to victories in successive tournaments.
UJ won the Ussa event in Port Elizabeth in July, followed by the national student team’s success in the Confederation of University and College Sports Association Games in Botswana.
At a national level, besides being part of the national team which won the Cosafa Cup, Letsoso played for Banyana Banyana in the African World Cup qualifiers in Lesotho.
The silver medal in the Sportswoman of the Year category went to triple jumper Patience Ntshingila, who was second in the Ussa track and field championships and represented South Africa at the World Cup in London.
Third place was awarded to another triple jumper, Zinzi Chabangu, who won a silver medal at the African Championships.
The runner-up in the Sportsman of the Year category was Conradie, while third place went to judo exponent Jacque Joubert, who won two gold medals at the SA Sport Association for the Physically Disabled championships in Bloemfontein.