The Star (Nairobi)

8 November 2012

Kenya: Keitany, Adiego in Awards List

Athletes are dominating the Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year Awards (SOYA) race in the Sportswoman's category. Kenyan women did not particularly perform well this year, leaving the stage for athletes and one boxer to set the gender agenda for Kenyans on the global stage.

Mary Keitany and Vivian Cheruiyot, look like runaway favourites, although there are others whose performances may just tip the balance. Cheruiyot won the World Best 10km in San Juan, silver medal in 5,000m and bronze in the 10,000m at the London Olympic Games.

Kaitany won the Rak Al Khaimah Half Marathon in United Arab Emirates, the London marathon and was fourth in the Olympic Games. After the cancellation of the New York City Marathon, she won the World Marathon Majors, with $500,000 prize money.

The Soya winners will be announced on December 6. The event is supported by Safaricom, National Bank of Kenya, Communication Corporation of Kenya (CCK) and Huawei.

In a year that did not particularly favour women runners on the global stage, Priscah Jeptoo won silver medal at the Olympics Marathon race and secured third position at the London marathon.

She also won the Portugal Half Marathon. Gladys Cherono dominated in the African Championships in Guinea with double gold in 5,000m and 10,000m. Pamela Jelimo, the 2008 Olympic 800m champion, won the World Indoors 800m gold and reached the final of the Olympics.

Elizabeth Adhiambo Andiego made history by becoming the first Kenyan boxer from East and Central Africa to participate the Olympic Games in London when women's boxing debuted in the Olympics.

Adhiambo also participated in the World Championships in China. She lost but her brave performance won her a nod by the world boxing governing body AIBA to give her a slot, or a wild card for the London Games.

Adhiambo is a member of the Boxgirls Club in Nairobi's sprawling Kariobangi Estate where she contributes in community development by coaching upcoming women boxers and educating them on several social ills, among them HIV Aids.

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