NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 5 – The Kenya Lionesses will be hoping to retain their title after making the top five shortlist for the Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year Awards (SOYA) women’s team of the year in the 2018 edition to be hosted in Mombasa January 11.
The SOYA gala which has been co-sponsored by Mombasa County, National Social Security Fund (NSSF), Communication Authority (CA), Kenya Pipeline, Kenya Power, LapFund, New KCC, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), GOTv and Protel Studios will be held at Fort Jesus as the annual black-tie event mark its 15th edition.
The Kenya national women’s sevens team will come up against the Telkom Hockey team, Equity Hawks and Kenya Ports Authority basketball teams as well as the national women’s volleyball team Malkia Strikers.
Nairobi Water handball team and Kenya Prisons women’s volleyball team made the preliminary top seven but could not impress for the final top five.
Lionesses defied all the odds to win the elusive African title for the first time after beating Uganda 29-7 in the final.
At the Hong Kong Sevens which was a qualifier for the World Sevens Series Core status, the Kevin Wambua coached side reached the Cup semis after losing in sudden death 12-7 to South Africa, an improvement from last year where they reached the quarters.
They had topped Pool X with victories over Papua New Guinea, South Africa and Mexico, in quarters Kenya beat Argentina then lost to South Africa in the semis.
At the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast Australia, the team finished sixth after losing 40-5 to Fiji in the fifth-place play-off.
Telkom, the 2014 women’s team of the year, on their part reclaimed the Africa Club Cup title after spanking champions Ghana Revenue Authority 2-0 to win a record 10th continental title. They also won the national championship unbeaten.
The Equity Hawks had a good outing where they were crowned the FIBA Africa Zone Five Club basketball champions following their 70-54 win over rivals KPA.
They also went ahead to wrestle back the Kenya Basketball Federation Premier League title after once again flooring the Dockers 73-64 in the final.
Their perennial rivals KPA managed to pick silver in the FIBA Africa Zone Five Club basketball championship and finished second in the league.
For the Malkia Strikers, they qualified to play at the World Championships in Japan after finishing second at the Africa Cup of Nations tournament held in Cameroon in October. While in Japan, the Kenyans were pooled in a tough group that included Serbia, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
They however, made history at the World Championships by getting a first ever win in the global stage after straight sets win over Kazakhstan in the opening match of the World Championships.