Sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala has been voted the Sportsman of the Year at the 2021 Sports Personality of the Year Awards (SOYA), receiving Kenyan sport’s annual honour as reward for his remarkable achievements that year.
Faith Kipyegon beat Olympic marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir and Harambee Starlets striker Jentrix Shikangwa for her maiden award in the women’s category.
Two-time Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge, who won the Sportsman of the Year in 2018 and 2019, was awarded a Special Recognition Award for his contribution to the sport.
The recognition rounds off an incredible half year during which he has achieved a series of historic feats among them breaking the 100m African record in September when he clocked 9.76 at the Kip Keino Classic in Nairobi.
That record also made him the eighth fastest man of all times and in taking home the prestigious award, he beat off competition from marathon running king Eliud Kipchoge who enjoyed yet another outstanding year.
The awards are decided by a panel of journalists from a list of shortlisted nominees, which this year also included Olympic 800m men’s champion Emmanuel Korir, Kenya Sevens star Alvin ‘Buffa’ Otieno and African rally champion Carl Flash’ Tundo.
The theme for the 18th edition of the SOYA was “Road to Recovery”, highlighting the year that finally saw the steady return of sporting action as coronavirus-related restrictions were finally lifted.