Kipyegon, Omanyala wear SOYA award crowns
| Jan 26th 2022 | 2 min read
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.
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.
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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By Edward Buri