Samuel Takyi, Hasaacas Ladies to dominate MTN SWAG Awards

BY: Bernard Neequaye
Samuel Takyi
Samuel Takyi

Ghana’s Olympic bronze medallist, Samuel Takyi, is in line to win the flagship Sports Personality of the Year award at this year's MTN Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG) Awards on Friday after a successful year.

The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, will be the Distinguished Guest of Honour, with the Ga Mantse, Nii Tackie Teiko Tsuru II, as the Special Guest of Honour at the gala at the Accra International Conference Centre to honour Ghana's most outstanding sports personalities.

The amateur boxer will compete for the coveted prize with Accra Hearts of Oak forward Daniel Afriyie Barnieh and the national 4x100 athletics relay team which reached the final of the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The 20-year-old Takyi made history when he ended the nation’s 29-year wait for an Olympic medal in Tokyo after annexing a bronze medal at the featherweight division. It was also the first Olympic boxing medal for Ghana since Prince Amartey won bronze at the 1972 games in Munich.

Barnieh, on the other hand, enjoyed an amazing year after winning three titles with Hearts of Oak and the national under-20 team, Black Satellites.

The youngster won the Ghana Premier League and MTN FA Cup titles with Hearts and also annexed the U-20 Africa Cup of Nations with the Black Satellites to cap a successful year.

The national sprints team also set a national men's 4x100m record after qualifying for the finals of the Olympics, having made the required time at the World Athletics Championships in Silesia, Poland.

In other categories to be competed for, Daniel Amartey [Leicester City], Mohammed Kudus [Ajax] and Jonathan Mensah [Columbus Crew] were nominated for the Footballer of the Year (Foreign) while Daniel Afriyie Barnieh (Hearts of Oak) has been tipped to beat Diawisie Taylor (Karela United) and Ismail Abdul-Ganiyu (Asante Kotoko) for the Footballer of the Year (Home Based) category.

Sekondi Hasaacas Ladies captain Janet Egyir, who has led her team to win five trophies and also reach the final of the maiden CAF African Women's champions League, is the favourite to beat off opposition from Constance Agyemang (Berry Ladies) and Jafar Rahama (Northern Ladies/Hasaacas) for the Female Footballer of the Year prize.

National amateur boxing trainer Coach Ofori Asare is a strong favourite for the Coach of the Year award as he competes with Hearts of Oak’s Samuel Boadu, while the Athlete of the Year (Male) award is a straight fight between US-based sprinters Benjamin Azamati and Joseph Paul Amoah.

In the Boxer of the Year (Professional) category, Alfred Lamptey, John Abaja Laryea and Mohammed Aryeetey will go head to head to the award, while Samuel Takyi is tipped to win the Boxer of the Year (Amateur) prize.