SOYA: Budding golfer Wanjiru is now ready to dine with kings
Kenya’s budding golfer Belinda Wanjiru Macharia has been nominated in the Most Promising Girls category of the 2019 Safaricom Sports Personality of Year Awards (SOYA).
The nine-year-old joined the groove in the category and will battle it out with national women football team Harambee Starlets prodigy, Jentrix Shikangwa.
To most golf enthusiasts, the nomination of Wanjiru was least surprising given her success in the local and international scene this season.
Wanjiru, who ventured into golf at the age of four, first hit the headlines in January when she represented her school in the Banda Trophy nine-hole event at Karen Country Club where she reigned supreme with a score of 20 stableford points.
On February 16, she emerged the nett winner at the Sigona Ladies Open and was also the gross winner to bag the bronze medal.
She finished second on July 24 at the NPA nine-hole event with 35 gross before representing the country in the World Championships in Pinehurst, USA, where she tied in position 41 out of 114 established participants.
In what is expected to be a stiff battle in the category, Shikangwa also seeks to inscribe her name in the annals of the country’s sports scene.
Shikangwa’s latest feat was guiding Starlets to the Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa) women championships title after beating hosts Tanzania 2-0 in the final. She was also the leading goal scorer in the regional tournament with 10 goals.
Nairobi Dynamites’ Faith Atieno is also among the nominees in the category, so is Africa under 20 women 400m champion Mary Moraa.
Atieno guided Dynamites to a top-three finish in the Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) premier league. This year’s Safaricom Soya gala that is slated for January 24 in Mombasa is being sponsored by Safaricom, Mombasa County, Communication Authority and UBA Bank.
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