Harambee Stars talisman Micheal Olunga and half-marathon world record holder Jepchirchir Peres are winners of the 2020 Outstanding Sports Personality of the year (SOYA).
The 17th edition of SOYA was held in Naivasha, Nakuru County last evening.
Olunga, who plays for Qatar’s Al-Duhail, upset men’s reigning half-marathon record holder Kibiwott Kandie and Nick Okoth the “Hit Squad” captain.
Olunga and Jepchirchir have been phenomenal despite the Covid-19 setbacks. Before moving to Al-Duhail FC, Olunga scooped the Golden Boot and Most Valuable player awards at his former club Kashiwa Reysol of Japan.
However, the 26-year-old Olunga was not in attendance to pick his award due to club-related duties in Qatar.
Jepchirchir’s star shone on the World half-marathon circuit. In Gydnia, Poland, she clocked a personal best of 1:05:16. She smashed her old record, and set a new world record before going on to win the Valencia and Prague Half marathons respectively.
Jepchirchir’s Sprint to SOYA
In the race to SOYA top spot, Jepchirchir beat Christine Ongare (pugilist Bronze medallist at the Africa Olympic qualifier in Senegal) and taekwondo’s Faith Ogallo. Ogallo won gold at the Africa Olympic qualifier, and will represent Kenya in Tokyo this July.
Among the guests at the SOYA ceremony were Athletics Kenya President Jackson Tuwei, Nakuru Deputy Governor Eric Korir, Harambee stars coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee, and outgoing Sports CAS Hassan Noor who represented Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed.
This year’s SOYA edition began with a conference that tackled diverse topics affecting athletes.
Here’s the 2020 SOYA list of winners:
2020 Outstanding Sportsman of the Year
- Michael Olunga (football)
2020 Outstanding Sportswoman of the Year
- Peres Jepchirchir (Athletics)
Hall of Fame
- Ben Jipcho
- Rose Naliaka
- Shadrack Wambui (Boxing)
Corporate Social Responsibility
- Videliz Njoki
- Dominic Ndingiti (athletics) -Making jikos
Resilience Sportsman with Disability
- Henry Wanyoike (Paralympics)
Resilience Personality (men)
- Daniel Komen (athletics)
2020 Outstanding Woman living with Disability
- Nancy Chelangat (Paralympics)
2020 Outstanding Sportsman living with Disability
- Onesmus Munyao (Paralympics)