NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 13- Kenya Under-19 rugby winger Clinton Kioko headlines the list of six boys nominated for the annual Sports Personality of the Year Awards (SOYA) in the ‘most promising’ category.
Kioko, voted Most Valuable Player at the East African School Games, was a core figure in Laiser Hill’s performance in both the national games and the regional showpiece, putting him a shoulder high against his peers.
He will vie for the title alongside fellow rugby player Harmony Wamalwa who starred for Muhuri Muchiri in their regional Sevens contest, Albert Njogu and Petty Andanda (lawn tennis) as well as Zablon Ekisa (table tennis), and Emmanuel Ndonga (swimming).
Wamalwa captained Muhuri Muchiri, leading them to the memorable victory on their debut at the regional games and was as well voted as the MVP of the East Africa Games.
The lawn tennis duo of Njogu and Ananda teamed up to win the doubles title in the regional school games while Njogu went a step ahead to win the singles title unbeaten. He has also represented Kenya at the ITF and CAT events, and won the 2016 Eastern Africa Junior Circuit boys under 16 title.
Swimmer Emmanuel Ndonga led Nairobi region to win the overall national boys title with 60 points. He set a new boys’ 200m individual medley record of 2:23.51, quashing his own record of 2:36.31 set in 2015.
Meanwhile, the girls’ list includes triple jumper Gloria Mulei who also represented Kenya at the World Under-18 Championships held at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani in July.
Mulei who schooled at Kwanthanze in Eastern won the triple jump national title with 11.84m and finished second to Immaculate Akoth in long jump after posting 5.26m. At the East Africa Games, she claimed the top prize.
She will vie for the girls’ crown alongside Alice Owiti (hockey), Sharon Jepchumba and Faith Nyabera (lawn tennis) as well as Hadassah Gichovi (swimming)
Awiti was the engine of East Africa five-time hockey champions Sinyolo in their campaign to the title and was voted the tournament’s MVP.
Nyabera, a student at Olympic Mixed, won lawn tennis singles silver medal at the East Africa games, after winning all the titles unbeaten from the sub county level to the nationals. She also claimed the regional girls’ doubles title to ensure that Kenya retains the overall girls lawn tennis title.
Hadassah Gichovi of Loreto Convent swam her way to new East Africa records.
For the second year running, the 15-year-old emerged the best swimmer with 60 and 21 points at the national and regional competitions respectively.
Jepchumba, Kwanthanze Girls volleyball team setter, was exceptional right from the sub-county to the East Africa games. She took home the MVP award both at the national and East Africa games.