Sport

And the award for the most awkward sports event goes to ...

Rhodé Marshall

The South African Sports Awards failed to deliver on its promise of glamour on Sunday night - but Tokyo Sexwale did try to make it interesting.

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula with sports star of the year Chad le Clos. (Gallo)

Despite a drop in budget from R46-million to R27-million and no Beyoncé, the event kept some of the finer things in life.

Four shiny BMWs were parked at the start of the red carpet outside the Sandton Convention Centre. Inside the venue, glittering chandeliers, glistening silver ice buckets with bottles of Klein Constantia wines were set up, and waiters dressed in all black flittered about, ready to hand you a bottle of La Vie de Luc mineral water as you desired.

But the décor reminded me more of a wedding than a sports awards ceremony.

Before the event was broadcast live, guests were served a three-course meal, entertained by David Kau and co-host Jo-Ann Strauss and took part in an auction of signed sports jerseys to raise funds for golf development.

Did we need a 150-table gala dinner to celebrate our sporting heroes? Probably not, but it was definitely one of the more interesting parts of the event.

The ceremony kicked off with performances by local artists Khaya Mthethwa, Kelly Khumalo, the Soweto Gospel Choir, Sharon D and Somizi, who was also the choreographer of the show.

But the exciting kick-off they gave the ceremony soon faded as the evening's MCs Robert Marawa and Carol Tshabalala took to the stage.

As good as they are as sports anchors, they lacked the personality needed to keep the audience entertained, and the presenters of the awards were just as awkward.

The production lacked the spirit South Africa's sport stars brought to the country during the London Olympics, creating very little excitement in the hall and as little at home for those sacrificing their Sunday night movie to witness one of the more uncomfortable events of the year.

Stars of the show were Chad le Clos and Caster Semenya, while the biggest upset of the night was Cameron van der Burgh – who set the tone at the London 2012 Olympic games and broke the world record – not receiving a single award.

The Shield of Jove Award was presented to swimmers Natalie du Toit and Le Clos by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe.

However, the most awkward moment must have been Human Settlement's Minister Tokyo Sexwale's Kanye Moment

Sexwale presented the sportsman of the year award. Le Clos, recipient of the accolade, along with R1-million and a brand new BMW – gave a champion's speech. As Tshabalala was about to call on Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula to hand over the keys to Chad's new ride, Sexwale forced his way to the mic, speaking over Tshabalala to crack a joke. Unfortunately he became the joke after pronouncing Le Clos's surname as "Le Claude". Really now, Tokyo?


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