Local amateur golfer Isaac Makokha reacts during Day One of the Kenya Savannah Classic at the Karen Country Club in Nairobi on March 23, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

Deaflympics golf bronze winner Isaac Makokha will battle with eight other top athletes in the race to win the Sportsman Living with a Disability award when the 19th edition of the Sports Personality of the Year Awards gala is held later this month.

The deaf amateur golfer will face stiff opposition from track and field stars including Rodgers Kiprop, double Deaflympics champion Simon Kibai, 1500m Deaflympics champion Ian Wambui, 3000m steeplechase Deaflympics gold medallist Lucas Wandia as well as experienced, Wilson Bii, among others.

Makokha has savored a brilliant year that will remain etched on his memory forever.

Last year, the Vet Lab Sports Club player made history by winning Kenya's first ever golf medal at the Summer Deaflympics Games in Brazil in May.

He bagged bronze after edging out German Guldan Nico in a thrilling third-place play-off at the Caxias Golf Club.

Makokha has also had seven top 10 finishes in key local events in the last 12 months, the prestigious Kabete Open being one of them, where he finished fourth overall.

Star athlete Wilson Bii has also made the shortlist after winning a gold medal in the T11/12 1500m race in 4 minutes 22.62seconds.

Also, in the shortlist for the disability award is wheelchair Javelin star Wesley Sang who won a gold medal in the T46 1500m race in 4 minutes 06.48 seconds at the Dubai championship.

Wheelchair javelin ace James Mangerere has also been nominated for bagging silver in F57 with a throw of 38.65m at the Grand Prix in Dubai.

Lucas Wandia served as the overall team Kenya captain at the 24th Deaflympics in Caxias Do Sul, Brazil, as he successfully defended the 3000m steeplechase title after clocking 9 minutes 29.27 seconds.

His counterpart Ian Wambui Kahinga, won the 1500m gold and silver in 5000m. Kahinga clocked 3.55.54 ahead of Jaime Morga of Spain (3.56.18) and Alexander Blei of Germany (3.57.10).

Cherono Kibai racked up a Deaflympics double gold by defending the 5000m and 10,000m titles respectively. He still holds the world record of 10,000m going into the Soya gala night.

Elikana Kiprop Rono has also made the coveted list after he won the 800m gold at the 2022 Deaflympic championships where Kenya's team was lauded for a stellar performance in the meet.

The Soya Gala will be held at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi and has attracted the support of the Communication Authority of Kenya, Kenya Pipeline, Lotto Foundation, National Social Security Fund and Safaricom.

By AFP 5 hrs ago
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