NAIROBI, Kenya, December 5- Final nominations for Thursday’s ninth Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year Awards (Soyas) are out as organisers wrapped up final arrangements for the black tie gala event.
With the shortlist for the Overall Sports Personality of the Year already out, contenders for the other 15 categories were unveiled on Wednesday after a gruelling selection procedure by the panel of judges.
“This was indeed a very tough process in narrowing down the nominees of the various categories from the huge list received but I’m satisfied that those who will be announced as winners will be meet expectations,” Evelyn Watta, the chairperson of the panel stated on the eve of the red carpet fete that will unfold at Nairobi’s Carnivore Gardens.
As expected, world men 800m record holder, David Rudisha will battle it out for the Sportsman of the Year Award with fellow London Olympics winner, Ezekiel Kemboi and Celtic FC footballer, Victor Wanyama.
Swimmer Jason Dunford, the triple gold medallist from Africa Championships and Kenya National Rally Champion, Carl Tundo complete the final nominees.
The corresponding Sportswoman of the Year gong will see three distance running queens in the shape of last year’s winner, Vivian Cheruiyot, Olympics marathon silver medallist Priscah Jeptoo and World Marathon Majors winner, Mary Keitany compete for the top honour with boxer Elizabeth Andiego.
Kenya Prisons Volleyball, Tusker FC, Gor Mahia FC and Kenya Harlequins rugby will duke it out for the Male Sports Team of the Year with Telkom Orange, Kenya Prisons volleyball, National 7s Rugby and National Under-20 football sides short-listed for the equivalent women’s crown.
World Indoor and Samsung Diamond League women 800m champion, Pamela Jelimo heads the list of the first-time Comeback of the Year accolade with rally ace Ben Muchemi and former World Cross junior champion, Philip Mosima.
Athletes dominate the men and women special category prizes with Baxton Menjo, Abraham Tarbei, Samuel Muchai and Daniel Kiptum who starred at the London Paralympics and World Deaf Athletics Championships lined-up in the former
Beryl Atieno and Mary Nakhumicha are the women’s Special Category finalists.
The annual fete received Sh1m from National Social Security Fund in sponsorship on the eve of the event.
Title sponsors Safaricom, National Bank of Kenya, Huawei Technologies, Communications Commission of Kenya, SuperSport and MultiChoice Kenya are the other event supporters.
FINAL SOYAS NOMINEES
• Coach of the Year: Tito Oduk, Philip Onyango, Caroline kola and Jos Openda
• Comeback award- Ben Muchemi, John Baraza, David Kinja and Pamela Jelimo
• Community Hero/Heroine- Philp Boit, Collins Angwanda, Paul Bittok, David Nyamu
• Special category (women)- Beryl Atieno, Mary Nakhumicha
• Special (men)- Baxton Menjo, Abraham Tarbei, Samuel Muchai,Daniel Kiptum
• Most promising (girls)- Mercy Chebwogen, Sharanya Iyengar, Alice Lukwen, Neddy Atieno
• Most Promising (boys)- Iqbal Isaak, Conseslus Kipruto, Mike Olunga, Timothy Kitum
• Schools team (Boys)- Kakamega high School, Laiser Hill, St Anthony, Cheptil Secondary
• School team (girls)- Obambo Secondary, Malava Girls, Kerugoya Girls, Tar Tar Secondary
• Sports team (women)- Telkom Orange, Kenya Prisons volleyball, National 7s Reugby, National Under 20 football
• Sports team Men- Kenya Prisons Volleyball, Tusker FC, Gor Mahia FC, Kenya Harlequins rugby
• Sportswoman of the year- Elizabeth Adhiambo, Mary Keitany, Vivian Cheruiyot, Prisca Jeptoo
• Sportsman- Ezekiel Kemboi, Victor Wanyama, Jason Dunford, David Rudihsa, Carl Tundo
• Overall Sports Personality: Abraham Tarbei, Victor Wanyama, David Rudisha, Mary Keitany, Vivian Cheruiyot, Ezekiel Kemboi, Jason Dunford