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Eliud Kipchoge crowned Kenya’s finest sportsperson, again





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Eliud Kipchoge, the greatest marathon runner of all time, is Kenya’s Sports Personality of the Year.

The world marathon record holder had moments earlier been named the Sportsman of the Year, beating World 1500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot and World Half Marathon record holder Geoffrey Kamworor to second and third places respectively.

“Sports is only way to unite the country and the whole world. My goal and dream is to make running a lifestyle event in the country since when you run you stay healthy,” Kipchoge said to a rapturous applause form the crowd. “Sports is where unity is hence let us be at war with our negatives and at peace with everyone.”

“Sports is where freedom is.”

Eliud Kipchoge (right) receives the 2019 Sports
Eliud Kipchoge (right) receives the 2019 Sports personality of the Year trophy from Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed at the Soya gala in Mombasa on January 24, 2020. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT |

The 2019 Sports personality of the Year Eliud
The 2019 Sports personality of the Year Eliud Kipchoge (right) poses for photos on the podium with Soya founder Paul Tergat at the Soya gala in Mombasa on January 24, 2020. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT |


Nigerian football legend Victor Ikpeba was the celebrity guest in the event that was also attended by Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed, Sports Principal Secretary Joe Okudo, Nock president Paul Tergat – who is also the Soya founder among other top sport personalities.

Kipchoge started the year with victory in the London Marathon in a course record of 2:02:37. Then on October 12 last year, he became the first man to run a marathon in under two hours when he clocked 1:59:40 in the Ineos 1:59 Challenge in Vienna, Austria. He retained the World Athletes Athlete of the Year Award. Cheruiyot claimed his maiden World 1,500m title in Doha a few weeks after retaining his Diamond League trophy.

Kamworor set a new World Half Marathon record at the Copenhagen Half Marathon, winning the race in 58:01. Kamworor also won bronze at the World Cross Country Championships and the New York City Marathon.

World 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri was crowned the Sportswoman of the Year. World marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei was second while World Marathon champion Ruth Chepng’etich was the second runners-up.

Malkia Strikers coach Paul Bitok was named the Coach of the Year after guiding the African queens to the African Games gold and also helping them return to the Olympics after a 16-year hiatus.

Malkia Strikers, winners of the 2019 African Games gold, were named the Team of the Year women. Kenya Lionesses were second in the category after making it to the Tokyo Olympics while Harambee Starlets was the third best team.

Kenyan Premier League side Bandari SC were third best team in the men’s category while Kenya Morans were the runners up. Kenya Commercial Bank’s rugby team was named the Team of the Year after successfully retaining the Kenya Cup for the third straight year.

Kenya Sevens sensation Geoffrey Okwatch was crowned the Most Promising Sportspersonality (boy) with Dominic Ndigiti (race walk) and Daniel Sakari (football) second and third respectively.

Harambee Starlets striker Jentrix Shikangwa was named the Most Promising Sportspersonality (girl) with Belindah Wanjiru (golf) and Faith Chepkemoi (athletics) following in that order.

Kenya’s 2019 Sportswoman Living With a Disability is Catherine Nyaga while the men’s award went to World Para Athletics T5000m champion Samuel Mushai.

The School Coach of the Year award went to Kwanthanze Girls’ Justin Kigware who guided his charges in retaining their national and East African games titles last year.

Kenya’s kings of rugby Kakamega High School (rugby 15s) were crowned the boy’s School Team of the Year, with Upper Hill School (rugby 7s), Friends School Kamusinga (hockey), coming second and third respectively.

Kenya’s volleyball queens Kwanthanze Girls won the School Team of the Year award, with Moi Girls Kamusinga (handball), St Cecilia Misikhu (hockey) coming second and third in that order.

Kenya Special Olympics Federation was named the Sports Federation of the Year, beating Athletics Kenya and Kenya Motorsport Federation to the award.

Harambee Stars midfielder Johana Omollo won the Community Service Award for his foundation’s amazing work.

Swimming sensation MariaH Bianci was named the Most Outstanding Player in the girls category while the boys’ award went to another swimmer Stephen Ndegwa (Aga Khan Academy Mombasa).

Mariah Bianci (left) picks her award. PHOTO |
Mariah Bianci (left) picks her award. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT |

The Class of 2019 Hall of Famer inductees were Kenyan football legend Mohamud Abbas and volleyball great Dorcas Ndasaba.

The Class of 2019 Hall of Famer inductee Dorcas
The Class of 2019 Hall of Famer inductee Dorcas Ndasaba receives her trophy. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT |

Three journalists were also recognised for their great world. Nation Media Group’s Richard Mwangi and Hezekiah Wephukulu were both recognised posthumously. Kenya Hockey Union vice president Elynah Shiveka was also feted.

Kenya Hockey Union vice president Elynah
Kenya Hockey Union vice president Elynah Shiveka (right) reacts after she was recognised for her work as a journalist during the Soya Awards. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT |

Sports Personality of the Year

1. Eliud Kipchoge (Athletics)

2. Timothy Cheruiyot (Athletics)

3. Geoffrey Kamworor (Athletics)

1. Hellen Obiri (Athletics)

2. Brigid Kosgei (Athletics)

3. Ruth Chepng’etich (Athletics)

1. Paul Bitok (Volleyball)

1. Malkia Strikers (Football)


2. Kenya Lionesses (Sevens Rugby)

3. Harambee Starlets (Football)

Sportsman Living with a Disability

1. Samuel Mushai (Athletics)

2. Onesmus Mutinda (Athletics)

3. Vincent Mutai (Athletics)

Sports Woman Living with a Disability

1. Catherine Nyaga (Athletics)

2. Ruth Chemurgor (Shotput)

3. Nancy Chelangat (Athletics)

Sports Federation of the Year

1. Geoffrey Okwatch (Rugby)

2. Dominic Ndigiti (Athletics)

3. Daniel Sakari (Football)
Most Promising-Girls

1. Jentrix Shikagwa (football)

2. Belinda Wanjiru (Golf)

3. Faith Jepkemboi (Athletics)

Most Outstanding Boys-Schools

1. Steve Ndegwa (Swimming)

Most Outstanding Girls-Schools

1 Maria Bianchi (Swimming)

Coach of the Year(Schools)

1. Justine Kigwari (Volleyball)

School Team of the Year (Boys)

1. Kakamega High School (Rugby)

2. Upper Hill School (Rugby)

3 Friends School Kamusinga (Hockey)

School team of the Year (Girls)

1. Kwanzanthe High School(Volleyball)

2. Moi Girls Kamusinga (Handball)

3. St Cecilia Misikhu (Hockey)

Johanna Omollo (football)

Dorcas Ndasaba (volleyball)

Pioneer Sports Journalists

Hezekiah Wepukhulu (late)

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