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Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 00:00 -- BY WILLIAM NJUGUNA
WINNER: Ezekiel Kemboi received the male sportsperson of the year award
WINNER: Ezekiel Kemboi received the male sportsperson of the year award

Simon Cherono was last night crowned overall Sports Personality of the Year at a colourful Safaricom SOYA awards ceremony at the Nairobi National Park.

Cherono was outstanding at the Deaflympic Games held n Sofia, Bulgaria this year, bagging three gold medals in 1,500, 5,000 and 10,000 meters races respectively. Cherono also won the special category award while Daniel Kiptum was placed second with Baxton Menjo third.

Two-time Olympic 3000m steeplechase champion Ezekiel Kemboi was crowned male Sportsman of the Year. Kemboi clinched his third world championship title in Moscow to become Kenya’s best steeplechaser in history. Kemboi, who a fortnight ago was crowned Athlete of the Year at Athletic Kenya (AK) Awards Gala beat Harambee Stars midfielder Victor Wanyama into second place. Wanyama has had an impressive season since joining Southampton in the English Premier League from Celtic in Scotland—guiding the Saints to the top six of the English Premier League.

Kenya Sevens star Willy Ambaka came home third in the voting. Ambaka played pivotal role as Kenya reached the semi-finals of the Rugby World Cup and played a huge role in Kenya’s rise in the IRB Sevens circuit as Kenya finished with 99 points—their highest ever point tally since inception.

Two-time world marathon champion, Edna Kiplagat carried the day in the women’s category. Kiplagat obliterated the filed to win the marathon world title in Moscow.

She pipped world 3,000m steeplechase champion Milcah Chemos to second place. Chemos was the first Kenyan woman to win a world title at the water jump event after coming close in the past four years.

World 800m champion, Eunice Sum came third. Sum stunned the athletic world in Moscow by racing to victory over favourite Maria Savinova of Russia. The Kenya Sevens team clinched the men’s Team of the Year award.

Led by Mike Friday, the team the team reached he semi-finals of the World Cup Sevens in Russia. Gor Mahia came a close second after winning the Kenya Premier League title for the first time in 18 years while Kenya Commercial Bank rugby team finished third after winning the national Sevens circuit for the first time after edging out Quins and Mwamba to the crown.

Kenya Prisons emerged winners in the women’s team of the year category . They retained the Africa title and went on to represent the continent at the World Championships in Zurich, Switzerland.

The national women’s volleyball came second and Telkom Orange came third after retaining the league title and winning the Africa Club championship last year.

In schools category, Upper Hill School basketball team took the boys’ honours with Kakamega High rugby team second and Kamusinga (hockey) third.

Kwanthanze are the winners in the girls category after stellar year in Volleyball . Olympic (football) and Sinyolo (hockey took second and third positions respectively.

In the Most promising Personality of the Year, Tejas Hirani (motorsport) came out tops, edging past golfer Daniel Nduva with swimmer Hamdan Bayusuf coming third. In the girls category saw Emily Muteti rule the roast followed by athletes Rosefline Chepngetich and Lilian Rengeruk.

Kenya Schools Secondary Sports Association won the coveted federation of the year award with Kenya Golf Union placed second and Deaf Athletic Association third.

Phillip Waruinge, who won Kenya a silver medal in boxing at the Munich Olympics in 1972 was inducted into the hall of fame while Roselyn Odhiambo took the Comeback award.

Africa javelin champion Julius Yego is the most outstanding sportsmen. Kenya women’s volleyball coach David Lung’aho is named Coach of the Year with star cyclist David Kinja scooping the Community hero award.