Soyas 2018: Zakayo, Engesha Front Most Promising Nominees

Dec 22 - by SPN Correspondent for SportPesa News

SPL side Sofapaka forward Pistone Mutamba also gets a nod in the next big thing award

Edward Pingua Zakayo celebrates winning the men 5000m title at the 2018 IAAF World Under 20 Championships in Tampere, Finland. PHOTO/File

  • In the boys category, Zakayo will battle it out with judoka Carlos Ochieng, world Under-20 champion in 10,000m Rhonex Kipruto, Sofapaka and Harambee Stars forward Piston Mutamba as well as athlete Jackson Kavesa
  • In the corresponding girls’ category Engesha, who had a three-month professional stint with Swedish Division 2 club Dalhem that is under the tutelage of former Harabee Stars midfielder Robert Mambo, helped FKF Women’s Premier League side Vihiga Queens successfully defend the title
  • The awards, co-sponsored by Mombasa County, National Social Security Fund (NSSF), Communication Authority (CA), Kenya Pipeline, GOTv, LapFund, New KCC, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Kenya Power, Sports Station and Protel Studios, will be held at Fort Jesus

NAIROBI, Kenya-World Under-20 champion Edward Zakayo and Harambee Starlets forward Teresa Engesha the nominees in the Most Promising category for the 2018 Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year (SOYA) Awards to be hosted in Mombasa on January 11.

In the boys category, Zakayo will battle it out with judoka Carlos Ochieng, world Under-20 champion in 10,000m Rhonex Kipruto, Sofapaka and Harambee Stars forward Piston Mutamba as well as athlete Jackson Kavesa.

Zakayo had a sparkling year that also saw the 17-year-old win the Kenyan 5000m Under-20 trials before going on to claim bronze at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, losing the battle to defending champion Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei.

After winning the Kenyan trials, the World Under-18, World 3000m silver medallist would go on to claim sweet revenge against Ethiopian Selemon Barega, snatching the World Under-20 title in 5000m from the Ethiopian in Tampere, Finland.

The Form Two student at Kapsait High school would then go on to win the Africa 5000m title in Asaba, Nigeria, beating experienced Getaneh Molla from Ethiopia and Eritrean Yemane Haileselassie. 

That saw him qualify for the World Cup also known as IAAF Continental Cup where he finished fifth.

Ochieng on the other hand is the Kenyan Champion in junior and senior under 60kgs in judo. Due to his prowess and discipline he was given scholarship and benefitted from an International training in Kodokan University of Judo in Tokyo, Japan.

He represented Kenya in World Judo Championship in Budapest Hungary and finished 7th in the world and looks forward to Olympics 2020 in Tokyo.

NAIROBI, Kenya-World Under-20 champion Edward Zakayo and Harambee Starlets forward Teresa Engesha the nominees in the Most Promising category for the 2018 Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year (SOYA) Awards to be hosted in Mombasa on January 11.

In the boys category, Zakayo will battle it out with judoka Carlos Ochieng, world Under-20 champion in 10,000m Rhonex Kipruto, Sofapaka and Harambee Stars forward Piston Mutamba as well as athlete Jackson Kavesa.

Zakayo had a sparkling year that also saw the 17-year-old win the Kenyan 5000m Under-20 trials before going on to claim bronze at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, losing the battle to defending champion Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei.

After winning the Kenyan trials, the World Under-18, World 3000m silver medallist would go on to claim sweet revenge against Ethiopian Selemon Barega, snatching the World Under-20 title in 5000m from the Ethiopian in Tampere, Finland.

The Form Two student at Kapsait High school would then go on to win the Africa 5000m title in Asaba, Nigeria, beating experienced Getaneh Molla from Ethiopia and Eritrean Yemane Haileselassie. 

That saw him qualify for the World Cup also known as IAAF Continental Cup where he finished fifth.

Ochieng on the other hand is the Kenyan Champion in junior and senior under 60kgs in judo. Due to his prowess and discipline he was given scholarship and benefitted from an International training in Kodokan University of Judo in Tokyo, Japan.

He represented Kenya in World Judo Championship in Budapest Hungary and finished 7th in the world and looks forward to Olympics 2020 in Tokyo.

Record time

Kipruto, 19, scooped the Africa Cross Country Under-20 men’s title in Chlef, Algeria in March, exerting revenge against Stanley Waithaka, who had beaten him at the Kenya Championships.

He then won the 10,000m final at the Kenyan trials on his way to winning the World Under-20 title in a championship record time of 27:21.08 in Finland.

On September 8 in Czech Republic, Kipruto affirmed his status as one of world’s most promising distance runners when he won the Prague Grand Prix 10km race in a course best time of 26:46, missing compatriot Leonard Patrick Komon’s world record of 26:44 by only two seconds.

The time is still the fastest in 10km Road Race this year.

Mutamba on the other hand, scored eight goals for SportPesa Premier League side Sofapaka FC, a club that he joined in mid-season from Wazito FC on his top flight debut. 

Mutamba helped Sofapaka reach final of SportPesa Shield where they lost to Kariobangi Sharks FC and was part of the Emerging Stars Under-23 national side team that played in a friendly in Uzbekistan where he scored a goal and provided an assist as Kenya won 2-1.

Due to his impressing performance, he was called up in all senior Harambee Stars squad under head coach Sebastian Migne, playing in seven matches while scoring once in their 1-0 victory against Malawi in a friendly match.

Kavesa 3000m bronze at the Africa Youth Championships losing the battle to Berihu Aregawi of Ethiopia who won in a time of 7:50.98 and Ugandan Oscar Chelimo who came second in 8:00.72. However, she would claim sweet revenge at the Youth Olympics.

Despite finishing third in boys’ 3,000m final, Kavesa went on to win boys cross country 4km race that gave him the gold medal with 11.12 points, beating Aregawi (11.13) and Chelimo (11.28).

Professional stint

In the corresponding girls’ category Engesha, who had a three-month professional stint with Swedish Division 2 club Dalhem that is under the tutelage of former Harabee Stars midfielder Robert Mambo, helped FKF Women’s Premier League side Vihiga Queens successfully defend the title.

Engesha played in all Harambee Starlets Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) qualifiers, scoring in Kenya’s 2-1 first leg victory over Equatorial Guinea in Machakos and she also found the net in their 2018 Cecafa Women’s Championship.

She faces a stiff challenge from Beatrice Chebet who won the world under-20 title in Tempere in a personal best 15:30.77, beating Ethiopians Ejgayehu Taye (15:30.87, PB) and Girmawit Gebrzihair (15:34.01, PB).

Also, in the list is tennis player Angela Okutoyi who won the ITF Under 18 tournament in Burundi which saw her join the ITF World Tour team that toured France German, Belgium and Czech Republic for five weeks between July and August

Straight from the tour, Okutoyi went on to win the ITF/CAT Africa under -14 championships title in Algiers in August, beating home favorite Algerian Bouchra  Mebarki 4-6, 6-0, 6-1 to clinch the title.

Okutoyi would stun top seeded Shufaa Changawa, the 2011, 2014 and 2016 champion to bag the national title at the Nairobi club to become the youngest player to lift the crown following the success of 14 year-old Wanjiku Ngaruiya in 2004.

She then made history as the first Kenyan to reach the final of the Africa Cup of Nations that ended in November in Botswana where she fell in straight sets-1-6, 3-6- to top seeded Bechri Chiraz from Tunisia to settle for Silver

The performance has seen her earn a fully sponsored tour by the International Tennis Federation Grand Slam Development Fund in Florida in December

Swimmer Brunlehner Maria, who is based in Germany also made the cut, having struck two gold medals and a silver in swimming to hand Kenya its first medal at Africa Youth Games held July in Algiers, Algeria

The 18-year-old, who represented Kenya at Gold coast Commonwealth Games, won girls 100m and 50m freestyle respectively adding up to her silver in 50m breast stroke.

Brunlehner had clocked 58.87 seconds to claim gold in the 100m freestyle, a victory that warmed her up for the 50m freestyle feat where she broke the champion record with new times of 26.14.

She had earlier settled for silver in the 50m breaststroke in 34.04 where Moroccan Imane Houda EL Barodi tapped the wall in 33.03 for gold.

She was named the StarTimes Sports Personality of July. 

The final nominee to make the shortlist is world U18 bronze medallist in 1500m Edinah Jebitok who won finished fifth at the World Under 20s in Tampere. 

She would then settle for silver in 1500m at Africa Youth but went on to win gold in 1500m at the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The awards, co-sponsored by Mombasa County, National Social Security Fund (NSSF), Communication Authority (CA), Kenya Pipeline, GOTv, LapFund, New KCC, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Kenya Power, Sports Station and Protel Studios, will be held at Fort Jesus.