South Africa’s leading men’s wheelchair tennis ace Evans Maripa was named Sportsman of the Year with a Disability for the first time at the Limpopo Sports and Recreation awards revealed at Protea Hotel Ranch Resort on Saturday evening.
The 26-year-old who recently represented South Africa in his second Paralympic Games in Brazil came out ahead of Lebogang Mogale (Intellectually impaired) and Alex Taylor (Intellectually impaired).
Maripa reached the men’s singles second round at the Rio Paralympic Games last week after he lost a grueling match against world number 10 Japanese Takuya Miki 7-6(1) 7-5.
The world number 17 impressed in his opener when he outclassed Suthi Khlongrua from Thailand 7-5 6-0 in just an hour and 14 minutes at Olympic Tennis Centre to reach his first ever second round at the Paralympic Games but was denied a podium place by the Japanese.
Maripa, who returned home on Tuesday from Brazil said he was very excited to win his first major award at home. “It is such an honour to be recognized at home for my outstanding performance.
I will continue to work hard, stay humble and represent Limpopo and South Africa with pride”, said Maripa.