Paralympians Wawira and Chelangat eye Soya honours

Kenya's paralympic weightlifter Hellen Wawira displays her bronze medal after finishing third in women's lightweight (97kg) at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on August 4 2022. [Kelly Ayodi, Standard]

Paralympians Nancy Chelangat and Hellen Wawira are leading the charge towards winning the 2022 Sports Personality of the Year (Soya) Sportswoman Living with Disability award.

Chelangat and Wawira were outstanding last year where they won several accolades including at the World Para Athletics Grand Prix, a feat that is rare if you compare previous years.

August 29, 2021. Nancy Chelangat Koech of Kenya and guide Geoffrey Kiplangat Rotich in action REUTERS/

For Chelangat, she had an insatiable appetite for success in 2022.

She clinched gold in the T11 400m race in 1.04.25 seconds guided by her brother Geoffrey Rotich during the 2022 World Para athletics grand Prix and 13th Fazza International Championship in Dubai.

The 2020 Tokyo Paralympics bronze medalist also won silver in the T11 1500m race won by Mary Waithera in a Kenyan podium sweep with Nelly Nasimiyu taking bronze.

On the other hand, Wawira who is Chelangat’s peer in the world of Para-lifting, won a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Wawira who won a gold medal in the world para powerlifting championship in St. Louis, USA with a scintillating lift of 98kg, proceeded to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham where she racked up the bronze medal in the women’s lightweight competition with a best lift of 97kg.

Also in the nomination list looking to win the coveted award are the Deaflympics athletics trio of Beryl Wamira, Linnet Nanjala and Serah Wangari. 

Wamira clinched silver in the 4x400m relay and 4x400m mixed relay at the Deaflympics in Brazil and settled for bronze in the 4x100m relay and 200m at the same event.

Nanjala chalked up a silver medal in the 4x400m relay and 4x400m mixed relay also in Brazil.

Wangari, on the other hand, took the 10,000m silver at the Deaflympics opening Kenya’s medal account before clinching bronze in steeplechase.

The 19th edition of the Soya gala is slated for January 20 at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre.

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