NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 3 – Nine-year old golfer Belinda Wanjiru is among the four budding stars shortlisted for the Most Promising Girl category in the 2019 Safaricom Sports Personality Of Year Awards (SOYA) set to be held in Mombasa in January.
Wanjiru who has been sensational on the golf course will battle it out with Harambee Starlets forward Gentrix Shikangwa, African 400m silver medalist Mary Moraa and University of Nairobi Basketballer Faith Atieno.
To most golf enthusiasts, the nomination of Wanjiru was least surprising given her success in the local and international scene this season.
Wanjiru who ventured into golf at the age of four first hit the headlines in January when she represented her school at the Banda Trophy nine-hole event at Karen Country Club where she reigned supreme in a score of 20 stable Ford points.
Later on in February, she emerged the net winner at the Sigona Ladies Open and was also adjudged the gross winner thus scooping the bronze medal.
Then in July, she finished second at the NPA nine-hole event on 35 gross before representing the country in the World Championships in Pinehurst, USA, where she tied in position 41 out of 114 established participants.
In what is expected to be a protracted battle in the category, Shikangwa is also determined to inscribe her name in the annals of the country’s sports scene.
The talented Vihiga Queens striker has captured the imagination of many with her scoring antics that are unmatched in the country.
Shikangwa’s latest antic is propelling Starlets to the Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) Women Championships title after scoring both goals in Kenya’s 2-0 victory over Tanzania in the final.
She was also the leading goal scorer in the regional championships with 10 goals, a feat which endeared her to many.
Shikangwa’s other attribute is scoring two crucial goals for Starlets thus enabling the team reach the penultimate round of the Olympic qualifiers, as well as notching the winning goal in the team’s 3-2 win over Ethiopia in a friendly match.
University of Nairobi’s Dynamites point guard Atieno was instrumental in steering the Dynamites to a top three finish in the Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) premier league where she averaged 15 points per game and set a record of netting seven three-pointers in a single first half.
The Dynamites lost out to defending champions Equity Bank in the semi-finals of the play-offs.
Moraa on the other hand won the Kenyan trials on her way to clinching African under 20 400m title in a time of 53.57 in Cote D’Ivore in April.