There was no contest as Stephen Kiprotich shrugged off the challenge of Rally driver Jas Mangat and boxer Joseph Lubega to win the Uganda Sports Press Association 2012 sports personality of the year overall award at the Imperial Royal Hotel on Saturday January 20.
This followed his triumph on Friday evening when he beat Sarah Nambawa and Benjamin Kiplagat to the 2012 athlete of the year title at the end-of-year dinner at Serena hotel. The dinner was organised by MTN and the Uganda Athletics Federation. The London 2012 Olympic Games gold medalist won himself a cash prize of Shs 1.5 m and a holiday to a destination of his choice courtesy of Beyond the Sky Tours and Travels.
"It is a challenge and I will work hard to see that I maintain it," Kiprotich said as he picked the award from the minister of state for Sports, Charles Bakkabulindi.
Nambawa and Kiplagat were the first and second runners-up respectively.
Nambawa was the first athlete to retain a continental title when she won gold in the Africa Senior Women championships triple jump in Benin, while Kiplagat won bronze in the 3000m event. Bakkabulindi had no kind words for some pretentious people who claim to love the sport yet in effect are simply destroying it.
"People pretend to know sports yet they are not informed and what they are doing is to turn the administrators against one another so that they get the news.
"These are people who agree to become mad. They know that they have a constitution but they agree not to follow it. They decide to fight and after they fail to get a winner, they start blaming the minister for not coming in to separate them," Bakkabulindi said, an apparent reference to the ongoing conflicts in the football administration.
On another happier note, Bakkabulindi announced that the two vehicles promised to Moses Kipsiro (he had won a double 5000m and 10000m in the 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games) and the National Athletics Federation have been secured and are expected to be handed over in early February.
Other top performers in Athletics
Athlete of the year: Stephen Kiprotich
First Runner-up: Sarah Nambawa
2nd Runner-up: Benjamin Kiplagat
Upcoming male: Michael Cherop
Upcoming Female: Winnie Nannyondo
2011: Annet Negesa
2007-2010: Moses Kipsiro