#InternationalWomensDay2017 Renowned Kenyan Sportswomen who have conquered the World stage

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Previously dominated by men, the sports in Kenya has in the past years witnessed an increase of women participants, a majority of who have won awards locally, across the region and globally.

Jemima Jelagat Sumgong of Kenya celebrates after winning the women's marathon race at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. play Jemima Jelagat Sumgong of Kenya celebrates after winning the women's marathon race at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (South China Morning Post)

Kenya has a rich history of competing in sports and majority of women in Kenya are now actively embracing and participating in national sports.

Previously dominated by men, the sports in Kenya has in the past years witnessed an increase of women participants, a majority of who have won awards locally, across the region and globally.

Traditionally, the placement of women was in the kitchen which saw them shy away from sports, but that is now changing.

Besides athletics, other sports that have been dominated by women include football, rugby, hockey, volley ball among others.

Some of the best Kenyan female sportswomen who have gone to successfully represent the country at the world stage are listed below:

Catherine Ndereba

Catherine Nyambura Ndereba is a former Kenyan marathon runner great.

She has twice won the marathon at the World Championships in Athletics and won silver medals in the Olympics in 2004 and 2008.

play Catherine Ndereba of Kenya celebrates winning the women's marathon at a apst event. (Getty Images)

 

She is also a four-time winner of the Boston Marathon. Ndereba broke the women's marathon world record in 2001, running 2:18:47 at the Chicago Marathon.

In 2008, Ndereba was described by a Chicago Tribune sportswriter as the greatest women's marathoner of all time.

Jane Wacu

Jane Wairimu Wacu wears her trademark dyed haircut and another thing - a beautiful smile.

Wacu plays as a setter for the Kenya National Volleyball Team and the Kenya Prisons Volleyball Club.

play Kenyan Setter Jane Wacu setd a ball against Cuba during 2015 FIVB Women World Cup in Japan. (The Star)

 

Her passion for the game dates back to her high school days. Upon completing high school, she shortly joined Kenya Pipeline’s Volleyball Club before moving to Kenya Prisons in 2006.

It was in the same year that she was picked to play for Kenya’s National Volleyball team.

She has won Gold at the African Club Championships (2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013), Bronze for Africa while at Kenya Pipeline Volleyball Club and in 2012 was named the Best Setter at the Continental Championships.

Last week she confirmed she will be joining the Kenya Pipeline side from Kenya Prisons.

Shehzana Anwar

At only 26 years old, Shehzana Anwar became Kenya’s first ever female Olympic female archer at last summer’s Rio Olympics in Brazil.

For a country that is well known for its middle and long distance prowess, Kenya’s Anwar is a rare gem in the elite sporting nation.

Anwar, also had the distinct honour of leading the Kenyan march past at the Maracana Stadium in her debut Olympics last year in August.

play Shehzana Anwar became Kenya’s first ever female Olympic female archer at last summer’s Rio Olympics in Brazil. (Dstv)

 

After winning the African individual event at the 2016 African Championships in Windhoek, Namibia, she competed at the South African and World Cup in Turkey.

She won gold over the short distance in South Africa and rounded up her Olympic build-up in Antalya last June where she ranked 18, moving up to 195 in the women’s standings from 213.

Vivian Cheruiyot

Cheruiyot who is the most decorated Kenyan female athlete in history.

The honours list for Cheruiyot includes four World titles on the track (two each in 5000m and 10,000m), senior and junior World Cross Country crowns, Commonwealth 5,000m and African 5,000m gold medals since 1998, when she first competed for her nation.

play Vivian Cheruiyot on her way to winning Gold at the 5,000m Olympics race in Rio Brazil 2016. (Reuters)

 

Besides a medal and trophy cabinet that is bursting at the seams, Cheruiyot was conferred the Order of Grand Warrior (OGW) State honour by the former President, Mwai Kibaki, to mark the nation’s in 2009.

She has since been promoted to the rank of Inspector at Kenya Police Force where she serves and on 3 January 2012, she was named the Female Athlete of the Year by US Track and Field Magazine, before being decorated as Laureus Female Athlete of the Year on 7 February.

Jemima Sumgong

Sumgong is a Kenyan long-distance runner and the current Olympic champion who competes in marathon races.

She has won the London, Rotterdam and Las Vegas Marathons, and has finished runner-up at the Boston, Chicago and New York City Marathons.

play Jemima Sumgong wins the marathon at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games . (Getty Images)

 

She has a personal best of 2:20:48 hours for the distance.

With the introduction of the women's marathon in 1984, she became the first female winner from Kenya at the age of 31 years.

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