World 3000m steeplechase Champion Ezekiel Kemboi and marathon gold medalist in Moscow Edna Kiplagat are Kenya’s finest sportsman and Sportswoman of the year,soya 2013.
The 31-year old on tuesday bagged the Safaricom sportsman title that has eluded him previously when he made the shortlist for the country’s hankered crown.
Kemboi, the most prolific steeplechaser in present day, had almost resigned to playing second fiddle especially after bagging his second Olympic title in London last year in addition to his Athens gold, only earned him the most outstanding performance soya award that this season went to world championships finalist javelin thrower Julius Yego.
Simon Cherono the triple deaflympics track champion who won the special category alongside Mary Atieno, the sprints world junior record holder from the same event was named the overall Safaricom Sports personality of the year.
Kemboi pips Wanyama &Ambaka, Kiplagat tops runners contest
The world title in Moscow, Kemboi’s eighth career championships gold medal stretching back to 2001 when he won the Africa junior title,certainly titled the sports journalists votes- who form the panel that picks the winners of the annual Safaricom Sports Personality awards- in his favour ahead of the first runners up Harambee Stars and Southampton midfielder Victor Wanyama and Kenyan international Sevens and Lyon Olympique winger Willy Ambaka.
“In 2004 I was the runners up for this trophy. I have waited for it for 10 years I never give up it’s been 13 years of winning medals for my country,”said Kemboi after his usual cracking celebratory jig at the African themed crowning ceremony held in the Nairobi national park the world’s only protected area lying so close to a capital city.
Just a fortnight ago Kemboi won the Athletics Kenya Athlete of the Year award alongside Eunice Sum the world 800m champion who bagged the female trophy then, this time ranked third in the SOYA’s sportswoman category.
Wanyama who joined the English club for about 1.7 billion shillings (£12.5 million) in September and is touted as one of the leading midfielders in the English League picked his second consecutive first runners up trophy ahead of Ambaka who played a leading role for the Kenya 7s team, who were named the 2013 team of the year.
Kiplagat, 34, became the first woman to retain a World Marathon title at the championships in punishing conditions last August. Four months earlier she finished second in the London Marathon with 2:21:32, performances that earned her the inaugural AIMS Best Marathon Runner of the Year Award.
“I am very happy I have won this because I was pitted against fellow athletes who are champions and very strong. I am very happy and proud” said Kiplagat.
Kenya 7s, Kenya Prisons top team honours
Kenya 7s the semi-finalist at the World cup and fifth in the International Rugby Board series topped the teams roll of honour ahead of Kenya Premier league Champions Gor Mahia and the KCB rugby club, the national sevens circuit winners and impala floodlight champions.
Volleyballers reigned supreme in the women’s with Kenya Prisons topping the list ahead of the national team and the Telkom Hockey club, the reigning African champions.
Swimmers, Motorsport rule promising awards
Multiple swimming medalist Emily Muteti who won four gold medals in the African zone 3 and 4 championships in Zambia deposed runners Rosefline Chepngetich(world youth steeplechase champion)and Lilian Rengeruk, the world junior 3000 winner for the most promising award.
The most promising boy was Tejas Hirani, the country’s leading motorsports talent who won the 2WD non-Turbo class in autocross and the Rally Raid buggy class.
He finished ahead of fastrising golfer Daniel Nduva and Hamadan Bayusuf, a multiple medalist from the zonal swimming championships.
Former Kenya Cycling captain David Kinja, Chris Froome’s first coach and mentor was awarded the community hero award for his contribution to the sport.
Kenyan born British Froome is the reigning Tour de France champion. Kinja manages and trains cyclist in the outskirts of the capital. He currently runs the Simbas cycling team.
David Lung’aho the Kenya Prisons and women’s volleyball coach won the coach award. Kenya Pipeline and national team player Roselyne Odhiambo who overcame near fatal heart conditions and returned to the court after two surgeries won the comeback award.
Kwanthanze Secondary won the schools trophy(girls) after bagging the regional schools volleyball title while Upperhill East Africa basketball champions won the boys schools title.
SOYA 2013 winners
Overall sports personality of the year –Simon Cherono(Deaflympics)
Sportsman of the year
1. Ezekiel Kemboi(Athletics)
2. Victor Wanyama(Football)
3. Willy Ambaka (Rugby)
Sportswoman of the year
1. Edna Kiplagat(Athletics)
2. Milcah Chemos (Athletics)
3. Eunice Sum (Athletics)
Sports team of the Year- Men
1. Kenya Rugby Sevens
2. Gor Mahia Football Club
3. KCB Rugby Club
Sports team of the Year- Women
1. Kenya Prisons
2. Kenya Volleyball
3. Telkom Hockey Club
Special Category men
1. Simon Cherono- Deaflympics
2. Daniel Kiptum- Deaflympics
3. Baxton Menjo-Deaflympics
Special Category Women
1. Berly Atieno- Deaflympics
2. Rebecca Matiko- Deaflympics
3. Serah Kimani-Deaflympics
Schools team of the year-Boys
1. Upper Hill -Basketball
2. Kakamega High – Rugby
3. Kamusinga -Hockey
Schools team of the year- Girls
1. Kwanthanze- Volleyball
2. Olympic – Football
3. Sinyolo -Hockey
Most promising Boy
1. Tejas Hirani(Motorsports)
2. Daniel Nduva(Golf)
3. Hamadan Bayusuf(Swimming)
Most promising Girl
1. Emily Muteti (Swimming)
2. Rosefline Chepngetich (Athletics)
3. Lilian Rengeruk (Athletics)
Sports Federation/Association of the Year
1. Kenya Secondary Schools Association (KSSSA)
2. Deaf Athletics Association of Kenya (DAAK)
3. Kenya Golf Union (KGU)
Outstanding Performance Personality 2013- Julius Yego(Javelin)
Community Hero of the Year – David Kinja (Cycling)
Comeback Award of the Year- Roselyn Odhiambo(volleyball)
Hall of Fame Inductee- Philip Waruinge (Boxing)