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Emotions run high as Kelvin Kiptum wins award posthumously

The late world marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum has bagged another one week after he was laid to rest.

File image of the late Kelvin Kiptum after setting a new Marathon World Record in Chicago

Kelvin Kiptum was posthumously crowned Kenya's finest athlete in the year 2023 at the 20th edition of the Sports Personality of the Year Awards (SOYA) Gala which went down at KICC in Nairobi on Friday, March 1.

Emotions ran high at the awards with Sports CS Ababu Namwamba pausing briefly and taking deep breaths before declaring Kiptum the winner of the men’s category.

"This is a difficult one. How I wish he was here to pick this accolade himself," CS Namwamba said as he battled with his emotions while announcing the sportman of the year at the gala.

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Kiptum had an incredible year and was poised to alter the landscape in his area having shattered the world record at 24 years of age and in top form to rewrite history before death struck abruptly.

From conquering the London Marathon with a course record of 2:01:25 in April 2023, Kiptum was ready to conquer the world and a few months later in October, he made headlines by finishing the distance race in record time of 2:00:35.

The record which saw him shed off 34 seconds from the previous one held by Kipchoge was ratified by the World Athletics body and made him the first and only man to run a legal marathon in under two hours and one minute.

The award was picked by former world marathon record holder Patrick Makau on behalf of Kiptum’s family.

Track Queen Faith Kiyegon crowned for the third successive year

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The women’s affair was a star-studded affair with world 5km world record holder Beatrice Chebet and world 800m champion Mary Moraa eyeing the crown that Faith Kipyegon was out to defend after a spectacular year.

Track queen Faith Kipyegon’s exploit which included breaking world record in her area saw her crowned the Sportswoman of the Year Award for the third successive year.

2023 saw Kipyegon shatter the 1500m World Record previously held by Ethiopia's Genzebe Dibaba at the Wanda Diamond League 2023 in Italy on Friday evening June 2, 2023.

Kipyegon completed the race in an astonishing 3 minutes and 49.11 seconds, an improvement of 0.96 seconds from Dibaba's previous record.

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She also shattered the 5,000m world record, with Gudaf Tsegay of Ethiopia breaking Kipyegon’s record a few days later.

Below is the list of winners in the various categories.

Sportsman of the Year

  1. Kelvin Kiptum (Athletics)
  2. Daniel Simu (Athletics)
  3. Emmanuel Wanyonyi (Athletics)
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Sportswoman of the Year

  1.  Faith Kipyegon (Athletics)
  2.  Beatrice Chebet (Athletics)
  3.  Mary Moraa (Athletics)

Sportsman Living With Disability

  1. David Ngugi (Special Olympics-Cycling)
  2. Kelvin Kipkogei (Deaf Athletics)
  3. Titus Maundu (Para-Athletics)

Sportswoman With Disability

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  1. Asiya Sururu ( Para-Rowing)
  2. Purity Kandie (Special Olympics, Athletics)
  3. Nancy Chelagat (Para-Athletics)

Special Category (Men)

National special Olympics Handball team

Special category (Women)

National Special Olympics Beach Volleyball Team

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Sports Team of the Year ( Men)

  1. Kabras Sugar (Rugby)
  2. Roll Ball National Team
  3. National Under-18 Football Team

Sports team of the Year (Women)

  1. 3x3 National Basketball Team
  2. National Volleyball Team
  3. Roll Ball National Team

Coach of the Year

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Evelyn Kedogo (Basketball)

Most Promising (Boy)

  1. Ismael Kipkurui (Athletics)
  2. Aldrine Kibet (Football)
  3. Nathaniel Muchoki (Chess)

Most Promising (Girl)

  1. Valerie Nekesa (Football)
  2. Bianca Ngecu (Golf)
  3.  Nancy Cherop (Athletics)
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School Coach of the Year

Isaac Muresia (Namwela)

School Team of the Year (Boys')

  1. Koyonzo (Rugby)
  2. Namwela (Namwela)
  3. St Anthony, Kitale (Football)

School Team of the Year (girls')

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  1. Kwathanze (Volleyball)
  2. Nyamira (Hockey)
  3. Butere Girls High School (Football)

Hall of Fame

Henry Rono (Athletics)

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