ALGIERS – Thursday, 28 December 2023 (APS) – The best Algerian sportsmen and women of 2023, winners of the APS poll of the national sports press, were honored Thursday evening at a ceremony held at Abdelatif-Rahal International Conference Center (CIC) in Algiers, in the presence of numerous political and sports personalities.

Athlete Slimane Moula and gymnast Kaylia Nemour, Sportsmen of the Year 2023, received their cheques and awards from the Minister of Youth and Sports, Abderrahmane Hammad, and the Director General of APS (Algeria Press Service), Samir Gaid.

The Director General of APS paid tribute to the winning athletes for their brilliant and encouraging performances, pointing out that “this poll, which has been running since 1977 and honors the best Algerian sportsmen and women, is the most important operation of its kind on a national scale.”

“We are honored and proud of our athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout 2023. After an absence of several years, the Brahim Dahmani Poll Awards are back to confirm the close relationship that exists between sport and the press in a new, strong and modern Algeria;” said the APS DG in his speech.

He also thanked the survey’s partners (ANEP and Madar Group) for their contribution to the success of this event, which represents a real motivation for the athletes. Samir Gaid emphasized that the winning athletes, through their performances, had demonstrated “that continuous effort and perseverance in work are the only guarantees of success.”

“I would like to thank the Minister of Youth and Sports for his sponsorship of this ceremony. I warmly thank the Minister of Communication for his support in relaunching the APS poll,” he continued

For his part, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Abderrahmane Hammad said he was “delighted” to attend this event.

“I am delighted to be here with you at this ceremony for the best athletes of the year, which has become an APS tradition since 1977. Let me thank the President of the Republic, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, for the place he has given to youth in general and to sport in particular, through his support and encouragement, a first in the history of Algerian sport.”

“We are here this evening to honor the athletes who have distinguished themselves, and who have been chosen in this poll while demonstrating great determination and an iron will to succeed and raise the national flag high,” stressed the minister.

In the senior category, the Algerian sports press chose Slimane Moula (athletics) in the men’s category, and Kaylia Nemour (gymnastics) in the women’s category. The two athletes were voted for by the 35 bodies that took part in the operation, following their performances throughout the year.

In the women’s category, credit went to the rising star of national gymnastics, Kaylia Nemour, runner-up at the World Championships in Belgium and bronze medalist at the African Championships, in addition to qualifying for the Olympic Games 2024.

She succeeds judoka Amina Belkadi in the poll. Kaylia scored 125 points in the APS poll, ahead of boxers Imane Khelif (72pts), gold medalist at the Arab Sports Games (Algiers) and qualifier for the Olympic Games 2024, and Boualem Roumaissa (33 pts), African champion in Yaoundé, Cameroon and also qualifier for the Olympic Games.

“I’m pleased, proud and honoured to have been voted best Algerian sportswoman of the year 2023. This award represents for me the support of the whole of Algeria, it warms my heart,” stated Kaylia Nemour while receiving her prize.

In parasport, the title of parasport athlete (women) of the year 2023 went, unsurprisingly, to para-athletics athlete Nassima Saifi, who scored a total of 160 pts, ahead of teammate Samira Guerioua (5 pts).

“I cannot help but be delighted by this award, which means a lot to me and honours me,” said Nassima Saifi, world champion in discus (F57) and bronze medalist in shot put at the Paris World Championships, stating that this distinction is another incentive for her to live up to the expectations of an entire nation.

For the men, Slimane Moula, African champion and 5th in the 800m final at the Budapest World Championships was the lucky winner of the Best Athlete of the Year Award, achieving a total of 112 pts, ahead of judoka Driss Messaoud (66 pts), African champion, and boxer Jugurtha Ait Bekka (31 pts), also African champion. All three athletes have qualified for the Olympic Games in 2024.

“I am very happy to have won this title, especially as it was such a close fight with so many names who have distinguished themselves this season, such as my friend Sedjati and judoka Driss Messaoud. I would like to thank APS, which has resumed the organization of this ceremony, absent since 2019. This survey is proof of the agency’s interest in sport and its willingness to encourage it. I would also like to thank all the media that voted for me,” said Moula.

Slimane Moula succeeds fellow track and field athlete Toufik Makhloufi in the poll. In the men’s parasport category, a little-known national figure beat all predictions to win the award for best male athlete of the year in this category.

Brahim Guendouz, a para-kayakist, won the title with a total of 85 points, ahead of para-powerlifter Hocine Bettir (50 pts). The Annaba-born kayaker had a very successful year, winning a bronze medal at the World Canoe Championships in the KL3 200 m in Duisburg, Germany.

This title represented to him and Algeria a historic qualification for the next Paralympic Games in 2024. A few days later, Guendouz added a silver medal at the African Championships in Abuja, Nigeria.

“This is an unforgettable moment in my career. This award has a special value for me. It is also the reward for a very encouraging year for me,” said Guendouz on the sidelines of the event.