Commonwealth games champions Ndiku, Sum bag top SOYA awards

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Jan 16, 2015
  • Caleb Ndiku Mwangangi the Kenya Sports personality of the year 2014 celebrrates after recieving the trophy at the SOYA awards on friday at the KICC.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Eunice Sum the Female Sports Personality of the year award.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Most promising girl athlete Chanelle Wangari with her trophy.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

Commonwealth and Africa champions Caleb Ndiku Mwangangi and Eunice Sum were named Kenya’s Sportsman and Sportswoman of 2014 at a colorful awards ceremony gala held at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, KICC Nairobi on Friday evening.

Mwangangi and Sum, the Diamond league and continental cup winners in the 5000m and 800m respectively, were the toast of the evening that honoured  Safaricom Sports Personalities of the Year (SOYA) dominated by Kenyan track and field runners with Julius Yego, the gold medalist in Javelin from Scotland and world marathon champion Dennis Kimetto celebrated as the SOYA most outstanding performers of the ended season. It was Yego’s second successive SOYA outstanding trophy.

There was double delight for Telkom Oranga women's hockey club who bagged the Sports team of the Year Award, while their coach Jos Openda received the Coach of the Year Award, a wonderful night for the national and Africa champions.

Ndiku was also named the overall Sportsman of the Year award, a particularly satisfying night for the 22-year old, whose season has began on a wrong footing because of a knee injury diagnosis, that has already locked him out of the World Cross Country chase for a senior medal after winning the junior race in Poland in 2010.

He hopes to be fit to chase the world title in Beijing in August.

“I am honoured to receive this award, indeed it is a product of hard work. 2015 is going to be the year and I want to do better,” said Ndiku who won the Most promising award in 2010.

Ndiku was picked ahead of steeplechaser Jairus Birech who had a stellar season winning silver at the Club games and the African title and Boxer Rayton Okwiri, a Commonwealth Games participant who kicked off the chase for the Rio Olympic ticket in resounding style knocking out top seed Austrian boxer Marcos Nader in their preliminary welterweight bout of the International Boxing Association’s, AIBA, a performance that undoubtedly tipped the votes in his favour.

It was an athletics sweep in the women’s category with Commonwealth Games' 5000m champion Mercy Cherono bagging the runners-up trophy ahead of Faith Kipyegon the 1500m gold medalist from the same event.

“My target is to defend my world title in Beijing and this will be an encouragement for me to work harder. I am delighted to receive this award and I want to thank everyone including my mentor Janeth Jepkosgei for their support,”said Sum.

KCB rugby bags team honours

There was a close contest for the men's sports team awards with the Kenya Commercial Bank Rugby team, 7s circuit winner, edging out Kenya Premier League champions Gor Mahia.

The power lifter bronze medalist Joyce Wambui was the named the sportswoman with a disability while Nikhil Sachania a rally driver who competed in the Safari Rally taking the men’s award.

As expected World junior 1500m record holder Ronald Kwemoi topped the men’s Most Promising Award with budding golfer, seven-year old Channelle Wangari named the Most Promising Girl.

DC Samuel Kimiti who had has introduced the relatively unknown baseball in Meru was named the 2014 community hero while returning Impala player Innocent Simiyu won the Comeback award.

Friends School Kamusinga Boys, the regional hockey champions and Shimba Hills Girls, the basketball regional champions were the school winners.

The SOYA awards are the premier honours on the Kenyans sporting calendar.

The winners are chosen by a jury, made up of sports journalists, reporters and editors drawn from local television, newspapers and online platforms. The public also had a chance to vote through an SMS platform for the sportsman, sportswoman and the teams.

The panel was chaired by Sportsnewsarena.com’s Senior Writer Evelyn Watta. Former world marathon record holder Paul Tergat founded the awards in 2004.

Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario and her Tourism counterpart attended the awards that had Stephen Kiprotich the World and Olympic marathon champion in attendance as the celebrity guest.

Overall sportsman: Caleb Ndiku Mwangangi

Sportsman of the Year: Caleb Ndiku Mwangangi

Runners-up: Jairus Birech (Athletics) 

2nd Runnersup: Rayton Okwiri

Sportswoman of the Year: Eunice Sum (Athletics)

Runnersup: Mercy Cherono (Athletics )

2nd Runnersup: Faith Kipyegon (Athletics)

Outstanding performers: Dennis Kimetto & Julius Yego 

Sports team of the year men: KCB RFC, Gor Mahia FC, Sofapaka FC.

Sports team of the year women:  Telkom Hockey Orange Club, Kenya Lioness, USIU-A (Basketball)  

Sportswoman with a disability: Jane Wambui, Anne Wacuka, Caroline Wanjira

Sportsman with a disability: Nikhil Sachania, Samwel Kuria, Caleb Odiyo

Schools team boys: Friends School Kamusinga (Hockey), Maseno School (Rugby), Malava Boys (Volleyball ).

Schools team Girls: Shimba Girls (Basketball), Kwanthanze Girls (Volleyball), Sinyolo Girls (Hockey). 

Coach of the year: Jos Openda (Telkom Orange Hockey team). 

Community Hero: DC Samuel Kimwiti

Comeback Award: Innocent Simiyu (Rugby)

Most Promising boys: Ronald Kwemoi (Athletics), Evans Muruttu (Weightlifting), Ismael Changawa (Tennis)

Most Promising girls: Chanelle Wangari, Margaret Nyairela, Rosfeline Chepngetich.

Sports Federation of the Year: Kenya Volleyball Federation, Kenya Federation of Roller Skating, Kenya Golf Union.