The Star (Nairobi)

8 December 2012

Kenya: David Rudisha Proves the Star Attraction At the Soya Awards

World 800m record holder David Rudisha was the star attraction as the country honoured their best sportsmen and women during the ninth edition of the Safaricom Sports Personality of the year on Thursday night.

Rudisha bagged the Overall Sports Personality of the year Award as well as the sportsman of the year - men's category.

Invited guests started streaming into the Carnivore grounds as early as 6:30pm eager to honour their best performing sons and daughters and were patient enough until the event finally took off at around 8pm.

The chilly night bubbled with excitement as the who is who in Kenya's sports world congregated to reward the country's top achievers.

To lead the attendance was Sports Minister Ababu Namwamba, alongside his assistant Kabando wa Kabando, SOYA founder and five-time world cross country champion Paul Tergat, Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore, National Olympic Committee chairman Kipchoge Keino, Athletics Kenya chairman Isaiah Kiplagat as well as the chairmen of various federations and sponsor representatives.

Despite athletics taking the lion's share of the awards, individuals and teams from not so well performing sports were also recognised and honoured.

This was the case for Kenya national football team midfielder and Glasgow Celtic player Victor Wanyama. Tusker FC, Gor Mahia and the national under 20 women's football teams were also rewarded for exemplary showing in the domestic football season. This was the first time since the awards wee started eight years ago.

And as the awards ceremony progressed, the mood continued to improve with the attendance.

Sharanya Iyengar who plays chess, was the youngest achiever at 10-years of age to be honoured for her exploits at the World Cup even though she could not manage a medal.

And as athletes went back and forth to the stage to pick their awards, it was the proclamation of Rudisha as the overall winner that raised the roof and everybody was after the athlete for a photo-session.

Truly a hero of the people, if not quite the world.

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