By Dinnierose Raiko – EM TV Sport, Port Moresby
After a stellar year for sports in Papua New Guinea, 33 finalists have been announced by the SP Sport Awards Selection Panel, in an announcement made today.
With overwhelming support from the public in placing forward their nominations, the awards look to reward various sport men and women, for their performances for the year 2015.
Identical to last year’s awards, 11 categories have been announced which include the Male and Female Athlete of the year, and Junior categories, as well as team of the year and the national performance of the year which recognises the best sporting performance domestically.
Israel Eliab is a surprise nomination for the sport of rugby league after performances for both the SP Hunters and the PNG Kumuls, and joins Jack Viyufa of body building and Ryan Pini in the male athlete of the year.
For the women, Linda Pulsan in powerlifting, Abigail Tere-Apisah for Tennis and no surprises with Toea Wisil in athletics.
The Men’s Touch team join the Women’s National football team and Women’s Va’a, all three teams winning Gold during the Pacific Games.
In the Junior Male category, commonwealth youth gold medallist in boxing , Thadeus Katua, Taekwondo silver medallist Max Kassman and Tennis player Matthew Stubbings have been rewarded with nominations.
While Court specialists Violet Apisah and Lynette Vai and Rama Kumilgo have been nominated in the Junior Female.
In the Sport official of the Year category, Va’as Jonathan Kassman, Tennis’ Barbara STubbings and Swimmings Liz Wells have been named.
In the Sport Media Category, EMTV has received a nomination for their extensive coverage of the Pacific Games.
Two nominees in Mahlon Winston and Mark Talia for the Sport Photo category, round off the 33 nominations.
The 2016 SP Sport Awards will be held on Saturday, June 4, at the Crowne Plaza.