Kipchoge Rules 2018 Soyas, Harambee Stars Named Team Of The Year

Jan 12 - by Mutwiri Mutuota for SportPesa News

SPL champions Gor finish second to national football team as football, tennis make strong showing in the awards roster of the 15th edition of the glittering gala held in Mombasa for the first time

World marathon record holder, Eliud Kipchoge (left) receives the 2018 Male Sports Personality of the Year trophy from Mombasa Governor Hassan Ali Joho (centre) at the Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year Awards held at the Fort Jesus on Friday, January 11, 2018. PHOTO/Courtesy/Capital FM

  • The Olympic champion and world marathon record holder was the toast of the night having been honoured with a stunning exploding fireworks display at the 15th running of the gala held at the iconic Fort Jesus fortress- fittingly built in the 15th century- having earlier risen to receive the coveted Male Sports Personality of the Year Award
  • In his speech, Governor Joho declared the next two editions of the awards founded by National Olympic Committee of Kenya president Tergat would be held at the coastal city with a beach front venue mooted for the 2019 Soyas
  • For years, the awards gala were a platform to hit out at the declining standards in the most popular sport in the country but the upturn in fortunes saw Frenchman Migne lead Stars to their first AFCON final in 15 years in keeping with the resonating them of the fete christened as Soyas at 15

MOMBASA, Kenya- Eliud Kipchoge started this year in the same glorious fashion he finished the last on Friday night when he was crowned the Overall Personality of the Year at the glittering 2018 Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year Awards (Soyas) held for the first time in the coastal city of Mombasa.

The Olympic champion and world marathon record holder was the toast of the night having been honoured with a stunning exploding fireworks display at the 15th running of the gala held at the iconic Fort Jesus fortress- fittingly built in the 15th century- having earlier risen to receive the coveted Male Sports Personality of the Year Award.

Fellow women 3000m steeplechase record holder, Beatrice Chepkoech, took the corresponding Male Sports Personality of the Year Award at the Oscars of Kenyan sports where football and tennis made a strong impression in the honours list.

For the first time in the glittering history of the 15 year event, Harambee Stars were named the Male Sports Team of the Year with SportPesa Premier League and Cup winners Gor Mahia FC finishing second as football made a roaring comeback at 2018 Soyas. Kanbis Cricket Sports Club finished third.

The biggest surprise of the night was perhaps in the Coach of the Year category where Rosemary Owino beat favourite Kenya Lionesses women rugby sevens boss, Kevin Wambua to the gong.

Lionesses who won their first African title last year, also missed out on the Female Team of the Year with hockey heavyweights, Telkom Orange winning yet another Soya title.

Running Kenya

"A running Kenya is a united Kenya, a running Kenya is a healthy one, a running Kenya is a wealthy one, a running Kenya is an enjoyable one. Together we can make this country a running nation," beamed Kipchoge said after accepting his latest award from Sports Cabinet Secretary, Rashid Echesa, Mombasa Governor Hassan Ali Joho, Safaricom customer relations’ boss, Sylvia Mulinge and Soyas founder and retired distance running great, Paul Tergat, also a former marathon record holder.

World men 1500m champion, Elijah Manangoi and Kenya 7s ace William Ambaka came second and third in the 2018 Male Sports Personality of the Year.

The fastest male marathoner on the planet who uncorked the scarcely believable 2:01:39 world record at the 2018 BMW Berlin Marathon last September added the Soya trophies to his IAAF Male Athlete and UN Person of the Year awards he won in the tail end of his most memorable season.

The Rio 2016 Olympic gold winner was also named the AIMS Male Marathoner and Citus Magazine Male Athlete of the Year in tribute to a magic year where he fell short of breaking the previous record of 2:02:57 when he stormed to his third London Marathon title last April.

Chief celebrity guest and the fastest female sprinter on the planet, Ivorian star Marie-Josee Ta Lou handed Chepkoech the sought after Female Sports Personality Award in recognition of her remarkable 2018. 

Chepkoech, 27, set the new world record of 8:44.32 at the Herculis Diamond League meeting in Monaco in July that shaved the world steeplechase record by eight seconds, backed up by the third-quickest mark of all-time as she became the first woman to dip under 8:50 and 8:45 in the women’s water and barriers race.

Her barnstorming season saw her win seven out of eight steeplechase finals including the Continental Cup, African Championships and Diamond League having kicked off her season with silver at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia. Chepkoech edged world women 5000m champion, Hellen Obiri and Lionesses star Janet Okello for the top award.

Among the melting moments of the gala was witnessing Stars head coach, Sebastian Migne lead his team to receive the Male Team of the Year prize as the 2019 CAF Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals bound senior football team scaled the Soya podium for the first time.

Declining standards

For years, the awards gala were a platform to hit out at the declining standards in the most popular sport in the country but the upturn in fortunes saw Frenchman Migne lead Stars to their first AFCON final in 15 years in keeping with the resonating them of the fete christened as Soyas at 15.

SPL titleholders Gor finished runner-ups after a campaign where they retained the league and invitation regional knockout competition SportPesa Cup titles besides missing the quarterfinals of the CAF Confederations Cup by a point.

Dickson Onduari (Handball) and Jane Njega were crowned the 2018 Sportsman and Sportswoman living with disability in the other big winners of the first Mombasa gala.

Other notable winners on the night Edward Zakayo (Athletics) and Angela Okutoyi (Tennis) who took the Most Promising Boy and Girl awards in that order.

Albert Njogu (Tennis) and Elizabeth Kioko (Kwale Girls) were named the Most Outstanding Boy and Girl, Laiser Hill Academy (Rugby) and Kwale Girls (Football) lifted the School of the Year Boys and Girls trophies.

The Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association edged out Athletics Kenya and Football Kenya Fedetation in the running for the Federation of the Year prize.

Former Stars head coach, Mohammed Kheri and retired local sprint star Rose Tata Muya were the latest inductees to the Soya Hall of Fame.

In his speech, Governor Joho declared the next two editions of the awards founded by National Olympic Committee of Kenya president Tergat would be held at the coastal city with a beach front venue mooted for the 2019 Soyas.

2018 SAFARICOM SOYA AWARDS WINNERS

OVERALL SPORTS PERSONALITY

1. Eliud Kipchoge- Athletics

SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR

1. Eliud Kipchoge- Athletics

2. Elijah Manangoi- Athletics

3. William Ambaka- Rugby 7s

SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR

1. Beatrice Chepkoech- Athletics

2. Hellen Obiri- Athletics

3. Janet Okello- Rugby

SPORTSMAN LIVING WITH A DISABILITY

1. Dickson Onduari-Handball

2. Peter Munuve -Wheel Chair Tennis

3. Daniel Kiptum- Deaflympics

SPORTSWOMAN LIVING WITH DISABILITY

1. Jane Njenga- Wheel Chair Tennis

2. Michelle Kaindi- Football

3. Caroline Wanjira- Athletics

FEDERATION OF THE YEAR

1. KSSA

2. Athletics Kenya

3. Football Kenya Federation

COACH OF THE YEAR

1. Rosemary Owino- Tennis

2. Kevin Wambua- Rugby

3. Jos Openda- Hockey

MOST PROMISING-BOY

1. Edward Zakayo- Athletics

2. Rhonex Kipruto- Athletics

3. Carlos Ochieng- Judo

MOST PROMISING-GIRL

1. Angela Okutoyi- Lawn Tennis

2. Beatrice Chebet- Athletics

3. Maria Brunlehner- Swimming

SPORTSTEAM OF THE YEAR-MEN

1. Harambee Stars- Football

2. Gor Mahia FC- Football

3. Davis Cup Team- Tennis

SPORTSTEAM OF THE YEAR-WOMEN

1. Telkom Orange- Hockey

2. Kenya Lionesses- Rugby

3. Equity Hawks- Basketball

SCHOOL TEAM OF THE YEAR-BOYS

1. Laiser Hill- Rugby

2. Upper Hill- Rugby

3. St. Anthony Kitale- Hockey

SCHOOLTEAM OF THE YEAR-GIRLS

1. Kwale Girls- Football

2. Trans Nzoia Mixed- Hockey

3. Kwanthanze Girls- Volleyball

SCHOOL COACH OF THE YEAR

1. Mikasa Amboko- Football

2. Justine Kigwari- Volleyball

3. Kevin Lugalia- Hockey

MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER OF THE YEAR-BOY

1. Albert Njogu-Tennis

2. Shadrack Kiptoo- Badminton

3. Emmanuel Ndonga-Swimming

MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER –GIRL

1. Elizabeth Kioko -Football 

2. Roseline Asumwa-Tennis

3. Esther Mutinda-Volleyball

HALL OF FAME

1. Mohamed Heri Binali (Football)

2. Rose Tata Maru (Athletics)

COMMUNITY HERO

1. Lawrence Karanja (Tennis)