South African swimming featured prominently at the 2019 ANOC Awards, which honored the commitment to the sport and outstanding athlete performances from five international multi-sport events.
The Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) held the sixth edition of the annual awards ceremony at the Katara Cultural Village in Doha, Qatar on Friday and top South African swimmer Erin Gallagher was named Best Female Athlete of the African Games, which was held in Casablanca in August.
Veteran sports administrator and Honorary Life President of Swimming South Africa, Dr Sam Ramsamy, was honoured for his contribution to the Olympic Movement.
The ANOC Awards recognise the achievements of the National Olympic Committees and its athletes as well as members of the Olympic family.
Gallagher was Team South Africa’s shining star at the African Games where she won a total of 10 medals, three individual gold medals in the 50 and 100m freestyle and the 50m backstroke and two more silver for good measure. To add to her haul, she won five gold medals in the relays.
Rounding off her stunning performance in Casablanca, Gallagher set South African records in the 50m butterfly and the 50m freestyle and became the first South African woman to dip below 25 seconds in the 50m freestyle with a time of 24.95.
Swimming SA (SSA) Chief Executive Officer, Shaun Adriaanse congratulated Ramsamy and Gallagher for the accolades.
“Dr Ramsamy has been a bulwark to South African swimming and the Olympic movement for decades, and as SSA we are proud to call him one of our own,” Adriaanse said.
“Erin (Gallagher) has established herself as one of the stalwarts of South African swimming and is spearheading the resurgence in female swimming.
We would like to thank both Dr Ramsamy and Gallagher for their service to the sport in the country.”