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January 21, 2019

Marathon maestro Eliud Kipchoge wins Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year award

Mombasa governor Hassan Joho with Marathon World Record holder Eliud Kipchoge and Soya founder Paul Tergat in Mombasa on Friday, January 11, 2019. /COURTESY
Mombasa governor Hassan Joho with Marathon World Record holder Eliud Kipchoge and Soya founder Paul Tergat in Mombasa on Friday, January 11, 2019. /COURTESY

World Marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge has been named the 2018 Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year.

Kipchoge was crowned on Friday night in a colourful ceremony at Mombasa’s Fort Jesus as the organisers moved the event outside Nairobi for the first time since its inception 15 years ago.

Kipchoge hit headlines in the world when he shattered the world record to time 2:01:39 after winning the 2018 Berlin Marathon.

The Olympic Marathon champion started the year strongly with victory at the London Marathon in 2:04:17 seconds on April 22, which was the 15th fastest time over the distance.

Read: Eliud Kipchoge named UN Person of the Year

He won at the same course in 2015 in 2:04:42 and 2016 in 2:03:05, missing the world record by eight seconds.

However, the moment Kipchoge had patiently and persistently been thirsting for came in the Berlin Marathon when he broke the world record by one minute and 18 seconds, on September 16.

On his way to smashing the WR and winning his third Berlin Marathon title, Kipchoge also broke the 30km world record, setting a new time of 1:26:45.

See more: [PHOTOS] Eliud Kipchoge shatters marathon World record in Berlin 

To win the coveted local gong, Kipchoge beat Commonwealth Games gold medallist Elijah Manang’oi and Kenya Sevens rugby player Willy Ambaka to the second and third position in the sportsman category.

World 3,000m steeplechase record holder Beatrice Chepkoech was voted best in the women’s category ahead of world 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri and Kenya Lionesses star Janet Okello.

Harambee Stars were named Team of the Year after qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations set for June in Cairo, Egypt.

It was an all football affair as Premier League champions Gor Mahia finished second.

Davis Cup tennis team completed the top three places in the men’s category.

National and African champions Telkom finished ahead of Kenya Lionesses and Equity Bank Hawks.

Edward Zakayo, who has had a good season in the athletics circles, was named the Most Promising sportsman in the men’s category while fast-rising tennis player Angela Okutoyi took the honours in the women’s division.

Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association are the Federation of the Year after beating bigwigs Athletics Kenya and Football Kenya Federation.

Legendary football coach Mohammed Kheri and former athlete Rose Tata Muya were inducted into the Soya Awards Hall Of Fame.

Lawrence Karanja who runs a wheelchair tennis club-cum-academy was  named the Community Hero.

In the schools category, Laiser Hill took the Boys’ School of the Year trophy ahead of Upper Hill and St. Anthony’s Kitale respectively, while Kwale Girls beat Trans Nzoia Mixed and Kwanthanze to the girls’ award.

Shadrack Kiptoo was named the Most Outstanding Boy of 2018 as Roselinda Asumwa took the award in the girls’ category.

Mukasa Amboko was named the Schools' Coach of the Year.

Read also: Man of the moment: Eliud Kipchoge wins IAAF male athlete of the year award

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