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Kipyegon, Omanyala wear SOYA award crowns

By Jonathan Komen | Jan 26th 2022 | 2 min read
Sportswoman of the Year Faith Kipyegon and Sportsman of the Year Ferdinand Omanyala at SOYA Awards at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega County. January 26, 2022. [Washington Onyango, Standard]

Olympic 1,500m champion Faith Chepng'etich Kipyegon and Africa 100m record holder Ferdinand Omanyala were crowned Athletes of the Year on Tuesday night inside Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega.

The two staged superlative shows during the 2021 sports season. Kipyegon enjoyed a near-perfect season in 1500m as she overcame a strong challenge from Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan. She successfully defended her Olympic title.

She suffered her only defeat this year when she lost to Hassan at the Diamond League meeting in Florence, Italy.

She won the Monaco meeting with a world-leading national record of 3:51.07 – just one second shy of the world record – and then notched up victories at the Olympics with a Games record of 3:53.11 and at the Diamond League final in Zurich.

Omanyala – who set an African 100m record of 9.77 at the Continental Tour Gold event in Nairobi – showed Kenya’s diversity as an athletics nation.

Paul Tergat and GOAT Award winner Eliud Kipchoge during the SOYA Awards at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega. January 26, 2022. [Washington Onyango, Standard]

The Most Promising Boy award went to Heristone Wanyonyi, who wrote history as the first Kenyan to win the World Under-20 Walk race while the most promising girl award was won by Teresia Muthoni, the 3,000m champion from the World U20 Championship.

Immediate former Harambee Starlets head coach Charles Okere was feted as the Coach of the Year while his team Vihiga Queens toppled Kenya Rugby Lionesses and Beach Volleyball team to win the Sports Team of the Year.

Shujaa was named as the team of the year, beating FKF Premier League champions Tusker FC

Tokyo 2020 Paralympics bronze medallist Nancy Chelangat won the Sportswoman Living with a Disability gong as Deaflympian Simon Kibai scooped the men’s award.

Lastly, world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge was honoured with the Greatest of All Time (GOAT) Award for his exemplary season as Volleyball legend Esther Ouna took home the Hall of Fame accolade.

Vihiga Queens crowned Women's team of the year during the SOYA Awards at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega. January 26, 2022. [Washington Onyango, Standard]

SOYA Award winners

Sportsman of the Year - Ferdinand Omanyala

Sportswoman of the Year - Faith Kipngetich

Hall of Fame - Esther Ouna

GOAT Award - Eliud Kipchoge

Most Promising Boy - Heristone Wanyonyi

Most Promising Girl - Teresia Muthoni

Coach of the Year - Charles Okere

Men's team of the Year - Kenya Sevens

Women's team of the year - Vihiga Queens

Sportswoman of the Year (Living with Disability) - Nancy Chelangat

Sportsman of the Year (Living with Disability) - Simon Kibai 

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