Who will bag 2014 Soya Award?
Kenya’s finest sportsmen and women for the year 2014 will be unveiled at the Sports Personality of the Year (Soya) Gala on Friday evening in Nairobi.
Among the favourites to clinch the coveted trophy are track stars Caleb Mwangangi, Dennis Kimetto, and javelin thrower Julius Yego.
Florence Kiplagat, who set is a new World half Marathon in February last year in Barcelona, clocking 65:12 minutes and Norway-based Kenyan goalkeeper Arnold Origi are also in the running for the top award.
Mwangangi has also been nominated for the Sports Personality of the Year (Male) Award while Yego, Kimetto and Kiplagat are in contention for the Most Outstanding Performance of the Year Award.
Mwangangi capped his 2014 season by winning the Diamond League Series. The feat followed his World Indoor 3,000m victory in Poland in March before his Commonwealth Games 5,000m gold medal exploits in Glasgow, Scotland in July.
Mwangangi would then go for the Africa 5,000m title in Marrakech, Morocco in August before winning the World Cup 3,000m gold at the same venue and month.
“It was a great season and can’t complain because God remains faithful to me by enabling all the important wins to come my way,” said Mwangangi.
Kimetto broke the world record at the Berlin Marathon with a time of 2:02:57 in September, to become the first man to run a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes.
Yego won the Commonwealth Games javelin in Glasgow with a throw of 83.87m, beating Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad & Tobago to become the first from Kenya to win athletics gold in a non-running event at the Commonwealth Games. He went on to retain the Africa title in Marrakech, Morocco in 84.72m.
Kiplagat broke the half marathon world record by a significant margin at the Barcelona Half Marathon in February 2014, running 1:05:12 hours to beat Mary Keitany’s old mark by 38 seconds.
She also took the world record for the 20-km distance as well with a time of 1:01:56 hours. Kiplagat finished in second place at the 2014 London Marathon in a time of 2:20:24 behind compatriot Edna Kiplagat.
Origi kept 11 clean sheets for his Norwegian club Lillestroem during the 2013-2014 season and was among the nominees for the Norwegian golden glove. He was also voted the supporter’s player of the year.
World and Olympic marathon champion Ugandan Stephen Kiprotich will be the international celebrity guest at the event that will be held on Friday night at KICC Nairobi.
Olympic and World 3,000m steeplechase champion Ezekiel Kemboi was the 2013 winner.
Sports Personality of the Year (Male) Award: Jairus Birech (athletics), Baldev Chager (motorsport), Rayton Okwiri (boxing) and Anthony Ndolo (football).
Sports Personality of the Year(Female): Eunice Sum (athletics), Hilda Indasi (basketball), Mercy Cherono (athletics) and Joyce Chepkirui (athletics).
Sports team of the year (men): Gor Mahia (football), Kanbis (cricket), KCB (rugby), Sofapaka (football) and Kenya 15s (rugby).
Sports team of the year (women): national volleyball team, national women’s hockey team, Orange Telkom (hockey), USIU (basketball and Kenya Lionesses (rugby)