Just as she started off the season with an outstanding performance on the Course in Punta-Umbria, Vivian Cheruiyoit capped off 2011 by winning two major gongs, including the overall Sports Personality of the year Awards at the Kenya Sports gala at the Nairobi Aboretum.
The 28 year old, the only double gold medallist from the World championships in Daegu, Korea last August also took out the 2011 Sportswoman of the Year Award at a glittering and colourful ceremony on Wednesday night.
Cheruiyot is the first winner of the Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year, SOYA Outstanding Performance Award. Cheruiyot picked up her first of three gold medals she won this season in the women’s 8km senior race in Spain, followed it up with a Commonwealth Games record in July and then went to win the 5,000 and 10 000m at the worlds.
Already guaranteed her slot at London next year, the award demonstrates the Kenyan public and media’s belief that she was the undoubtedly the best female athlete this season, despite missing out on the IAAF award. Cheruyoit who was also unbeaten in the diamond league races was thrilled with awards.
“I am honoured and is a big boost for me. Now my focus is on London, “she said after receiving her award. She has also been nominated for the prestigious Laureus female sports personality award.
Mary Keitany, the World Half marathon record holder and World Champion Edna Kiplagat took the runner-up and first-runnerup position respectively.
World marathon record holder Patrick Makau collected the Sportsman of the Year award for his 2:03.38 time he posted in Berlin in September piping Geoffrey Mutai the Boston and New York Marathon champion who took the runners-up.
Julius Yego’s breakthrough performance that earned him the All African Games Javelin Gold saw him get the panellists’ nod for the first runners-up position ahead of World champions and other major city marathon stars.
Premier league champions Tusker FC were crowned the team of the year while Africa club champions Prisons took home the women’s trophy.
Tusker Coach Sammy Omolo was named the coach of the year 2011 while Rose Naliaka’s effort of promoting women’s golf was recognised with the 2011 Community heroine award.
14-year-old Golfer Naomi Wafula the youngest Kenyan in the ladies team was named the most promising girl this season while speed star Shivam Vinayak collected the boys’ title
Multiple African medallist Abraham Tarbei and Special Olympics gold medallist Jennifer Mutuku were the winners of the men and women’s special category.
Ethiopian track star Meselech Melkamu was the main guest at the awards.The winners of the awards founded by former world marathon record holder Paul Tergat, were selected by a panel of Kenyan sports writers.
SOYA 2011 Winners
OVERALL SPORTS PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR 2011
SPORTMAN OF THE YEAR
SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE AWARD
SPORTSTEAM OF THE YEAR-MEN
2.National Volleyball Team- All Africa Games
3.Daegu World championship Marathon Team
1.Jennifer Mutuku (Special Olympics)
2.Centrine Namatasi (Wheelchair)
3.Mary Nakhumicha (Paralympics)
1.Abraham Tarbei (Paralympics)
2.Henry Nzungi Muendo (Paralympics)
3.Swaleh Yusuf (Paracanoe)
OUTSTANDING SCHOOL OF THE YEAR-GIRLS
1.Arch Bishop Njenga High School (Football)
2.Tartar High School (Football)
3.Malava High School (Volleyball)
OUTSTANDING SCHOOL OF THE YEAR-BOYS
1.Laiser Hill Academy (Basketball)
2.Gekomoni High School (Football)
3.St Anthony High School (Hockey)
MOST PROMISING SPORTSWOMAN
1.Naomi Wafula (Golf)
2.Linda Oseso (Hammer Throw- Athletics)
3.Faith Chepngétich (Athletics)
MOST PROMISING SPORTSMAN
1.Shivam Vinayak (Motorcross)
2.William Malel (Athletics)
3.Leonard Kosencha (Athletics)
FEDARATION OF THE YEAR
1.Athletics Kenya (AK)
2. Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF)
3.Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association (KSSSA)
COACH OF THE YEAR
Sammy Omolo (Tusker FC Coach)
Rose Naliaka (Golf Development)
HALL OF FAME
Late Robbie Armstrong (Cricketer)
Prisca Jeptoo & Sharon Cherop