Mustapha Ussif, Minister of Youth and Sports, presenting the Sports Personality of the Year award to representatives of Mohammed Kudus. PICTURES BY MAXWELL OCLOO
Ajax Amsterdam forward, Mohammed Kudus, stole the show by sweeping two prestigious awards at last Saturday’s 47th Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG) Awards Night at the Accra International Conference Centre.
Kudus won the flagship Sports Personality of the Year and Footballer of the Year awards following his exploits in the Dutch Eredivise and for the Black Stars at the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The gifted midfielder shrugged off stiff competition from top sprinter, Joseph Paul Amoah, and amateur boxer, Abraham Mensah, to join the list of the nation’s sporting greats.
The 22-year-old star scored 20 goals for both club and country and helped Ajax win the Dutch Eredivisie for a record 36 times within the 2021-2022 calendar year.
He also made a magnificent impact in Ajax’s UEFA Champions League campaign by scoring four times but his side exited at the group stage of the competition.
Amoah, 25, failed to win the award despite winning bronze at last year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Equally overlooked was 18-year-old Abraham Mensah, who won silver at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham last year.
In the Amateur Boxer of the Year category, Abraham Mensah, however, beat Joseph Commey to the award. Commey in turn took home the Discovery of the Year award following his silver medal feat at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
In an interview with Graphic Sports, Mensah expressed the hope to work harder this year to win laurels at the upcoming African Games.
“I am very pleased to have won this award because I really worked hard last year. These are some of the things that motivates us to give of our best.
“The focus is to continue working harder to win laurels in the upcoming African Games later this year,” he stated.
Daniel Afriyie Barnieh won the Footballer of the Year (Home) award after a splendid performance in the Ghana Premier League with Hearts of Oak, while Joseph Paul Amoah emerged victorious in the Male Athlete of the Year after beating Benjamin Azamati to the prize.
US-based Deborah Acquah won the Female Athlete of the Year award after earning a bronze medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
In the Female Footballer of the Year category, Ophelia Amponsah was adjudged the winner, with her club, Ampem Darkoa, emerging as the Club of the Year.
Coach Nana Adarkwa of Ampem Darkoa was also voted Coach of the Year, Patricia Nyamekye received the Para Athlete of the Year prize, and the Pro Golfer of the Year award went to Kojo Barni.
Rashaka Katadat of Ghana Army was adjudged the Volleyball Player of the Year, Dr Kwabena Adu Poku was voted Chess Player of the Year, while the Badminton Player of the Year award went to Alphous Kelvin.
The Swimmer of the Year award went to Abeiku Gyeke Jackson, Israel Akili finished as Table Tennis’ Most Exciting Player and Samson Awiah Aweh won the Cricketer of the Year award.
Adizatu Sulemana of GRA Ladies was adjudged Female Hockey Player of the Year, while Anthony Boakye was crowned Cyclist of the Year.