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Rudisha and Lagat crowned Soya best athletes

By | Published Sat, December 11th 2010 at 00:00, Updated Sat, December 11th 2010 at 00:00 GMT +3

By BISMARCK MUTAHI

David Lekuta Rudisha and Nancy Jebet Lagat are this year’s Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year Awards (Soya) winners.

The two were feted during a colourful ceremony at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre Friday night.

After a splendid year that saw him named the IAAF Athlete of the Year, there was little doubt the 21-year-old Rudish

World 800m record holder David Lekuta Rudisha (right) and 1500m Olympic champion Nancy Jebet Lagat are the 2010 sports personalities of the year. [PHOTOS: FILE/STANDARD]

a would be crowned Kenya’s finest, but it was not as clear in the women awards.

Rudisha has been untouchable over the 800m race this year, and breaking two records in one year just pushed him way ahead of other competitors who were hoping to be named Soya winners.

But it was not only the world record that pushed Rudisha to the podium at Kenya’s own Oscars in sports, but also his consistent run in the year 2010, which is what the Soya panel considered before arriving at the winners.

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Apart from victories in the Golden League meetings, Rudisha showed his fans at home what he is made of with a stunning victory in the African Athletics Championships, which were staged at the Nyayo National Stadium in August.

The man from Trans Mara County is also the holder of the African record at 1:42.01 to add to the world record of 1:41.01, which he also set in Rieti, Italy just like the African record.

In the women awards, Lagat beat the likes of Vivian Cheruiyot in the race that was too close to call as women athletes have done extremely well this year.

Lagat edged out the rest because of a consistent run throughout the year, but what put her ahead of the rest was the double triumph she registered at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India. She won the 1,500m race and was forced to line up in the 800m race after injury forced out some of Kenya’s top athletes over the distance and she did not disappoint.

Athletics also dominated in the Most Promising category with track stars Mercy Cherono and Caleb Mwangangi crowned as the top athletes in this category.

Cherono won the 6km junior race at the World Cross Country Championships in Poland and also gold in 3,000m at the World Junior Championships in Moncton, Canada and also silver in the 5,000m at the same junior event.

On the other hand Mwangangi won the junior race at the World Cross Country Championships in Poland and 1,500m world junior title in Canada.

In the team awards, Kenyan Premier League winners Ulinzi Stars also added another trophy to their cabinet after they were named the men team of the year.


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