•Kipchoge, the world marathon record holder, is a history maker, having become the first man to run 42km under two hours
•Omanyala finished 2021 as the world's second fastest man in 100m
•Motorsport ace Tundo put Kenya on the continental map by clinching the African Rally Championship
Double Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge and African 100m record holder Ferdinand Omanyala will headline Tuesday's SOYA awards when they battle with three other nominees for the Best Sportsman of the Year Award.
Others nominated for the top gong include Kenya rugby sevens star Alvin 'Buffa' Otieno, Kenya National Rally Championship leader Carl 'Flash' Tundo and Olympic 800m champion Emmanuel Korir.
Kipchoge, the world marathon record holder, is a history maker, having become the first man to run 42km under two hours, clocking 1:59:40 in 2019 in Vienna during the Ineos 1:59 challenge.
Although he suffered heartbreak at the 2020 London Marathon when he finished a disappointing eighth, Kipchoge bounced back impressively in 2021 when he won his second Olympic marathon title in Tokyo in 2:08:38.
He will be aiming to once again make history as the first man to win three successive Olympic marathon titles when he competes at Paris 2024.
On the other hand, Omanyala has become the poster boy of Kenyan sprints thanks to a fruitful 2021.
Breaking the national record for 100m on four different occasions was more than enough evidence that he is not a one-hit wonder but destined for the sky as far as his athletics career is concerned.
Omanyala put behind his past legal struggles with doping issues to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics during which he clocked 10.01 at the national trials in June at Moi Stadium, Kasarani.
In Tokyo, he missed out on the finals of the men's 100m by a whisker when he timed 10.00 in the semis to set another national record.
Things only got better for the Kitale-born when he clocked 9.86 at International Josko Running Meeting in Andorf, Austria to once again smash the national record.
However, he saved the best for last when he smashed South Africa's Akane Simbine's African record of 9.84 at the Kip Keino Classic, clocking 9.77 behind United States' Trayvon Bromell who timed 9.76 — the fastest time for 2021.
Korir's gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics — a race in which fellow countryman Ferguson Rotich clinched silver — was a sigh of relief for many Kenyans who up until then had been waiting for the country's first gold at the quadrennial games.
Motorsport ace Tundo is already a legend and testament that form is temporary but class is permanent.
The five-time Safari Rally champion put Kenya on the continental map by clinching the African Rally Championship during which he placed ninth in the World Rally Championship Safari Rally.
Tundo also won the Gorilla Rally in Rwanda and currently leads the KNRC standings with two legs remaining —Nanyuki and Machakos.
Similarly, Otieno has been a standout player in the rugby sevens scene, epitomised by his raw power that enables him to effortlessly swat past his opponents.
With 11 tries in the World Series, the Kenya Commercial Bank player is the fourth highest scorer, two behind top scorer Muller du Plessis of South Africa.
He was also Kenya's brightest star at the Vancouver 7s and Edmonton 7s where the country clinched silver and bronze respectively.
The annual awards will be held at Bukhungu Stadium, Kakamega.