Hours to go....Kenyan sporting Greats wait for SOYA

Dec 09, 2010

An impressive collection of Kenyan top sportsmen and women have just hours to discover if they are the winners of the Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year Awards to be announced at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre in the capital Nairobi on Friday.


From the 800m World record holder David Rudisha to Inter Milan Midfielder MacDonald Mariga, Commonwealth Games Champions Richard Matelong(3000m SC) and Mark Mutai(400m) and swimmer Jason Dunford, the seventh edition of Kenya’s greatest sporting awards is largely dominated by athletes and football nominees. Conspicuously absent from the finalists lists are the Rugby Sevens stars led by last years winner Collins Injera probably after a slow season in the IRB series.


Athletics dominate the Sportswoman of the Year award with Commonwealth games champions and Diamond League winners comprising Nancy Jebet Lagat(1500),Vivian Cheruyoit (5000), Irene Kosgei(marathon), Milcah Chemos with Volleyballer Praxides Agala challenging them for the coveted  title.


The Coaches of the year and Teams award could be the most competitive battle in the history of the SOYA awards.


The nominees for the sports team of the year for the men are Kenya Harlequins, KPL champions Ulinzi, Runners Up Gor Mahia and the World cross country team which has also made the top five nominations in the women's category.

African Club Hockey Champions Telkom Orange, The national women's volleyball team-Africa's representative in the world championships and the world half marathon team.


The coaches category is even more competitive with Sprints Coach Stephen Mwaniki, National and Prisons Volleyball Coach David Lung'aho and the football duo of Gor's Zedekiah Otieno and Benjamin Nyangweso of Ulinzi.


The most promising categories has a cocktail of nominees drawn from Lara Granier in Sailing,Michelle Adhiambo-Basketball, Nancy Wanjue for Hockey and world junior athletics champions Purity Jerotich and Mercy Cherono.


Fast rising footballer Anthony Akumu and Harrison Mwenda are up for the running for the boys most promising award. George Mumo(Taekwondo) and World Junior champion Caleb Mwangangi are the other three finalists.


The Community Hero of the year is also set to be interesting with the nominations of non-Kenyans Bob Munro patron of Mathare Youth Sports Association and Brother Colm O'Connell veteran  Athletics coach, Dutch athlete Lorna Kiplagat and Soccer Coach Bob Oyugi.


Athletics Kenya, Amateur Boxing Association,Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association, the Kenya Rugby Union and the Kenya Motor sports are up in the running for the best Federation of the year award.


Nigerian soccer legend Taribo West who arrived in Nairobi on Thursday will grace the Awards which recognise sporting achievement nationally and internationally during the period January 1- December 31,2010 are the premier honours in the Kenyan sporting calendar.


The winners of the awards supported by Safaricom will be unveiled during a televised Awards Ceremony on friday night. The winners are voted by a panel of sports journalists and editors.


Evelyn Watta

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