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Athletes rule SOYA most promising girl category

Jackline Chepkoech all smiles. PHOTO/Team Kenya
  • There are six girls nominated for the award
  • Others include basketballer Medina Okot
  • The awards are scheduled for January 20

Commonwealth Games steeplechase champion Jackline Chepkoech leads a list of two other athletes in the initial list of six girls nominated for the female rising star title at the Sportsperson of the Year Awards.

Also nominated are World Under-20 champion Faith Cherotich as well as Betty Chelangat.

The other nominees include deputy captain for Team Kenya to the World Youth Boxing Championships Jane Wangare, basketballer Medina Okot and weightlifter Rachel Achieng.

Chepkoech, winner of the World Under-20 title in Nairobi last season, stepped into the senior cadre with a confident leap as she floored a competitive field to win the Commonwealth title in Birmingham. She made up for her not-so-impressive performance at the World Championships.

Meanwhile, Chelangat, 18, won Kenya’s first gold at the World Under-20 Championships in Cali by claiming victory in the women’s 3000m in 9:01.03. Chelang’at also won the trials in Nairobi in 8:51.33.

Faith Cherotich rewarded for her success

Faith Cherotich celebrates after winning the women’s 3000m race at the World Athletics U20 Championships at Pascual Guerrero stadium on August 3, 2022 in Cali, Colombia. (ERICK BARASA)

In the same sport, Faith Cherotich is also gunning for the coveted title after putting on a gallant display in global meetings. Cherotich put on a dominant display to win the World U20 3000m steeplechase in Cali.

She would then upgrade the silver she had won in Nairobi last year with a stunning display of front running as she led from start to finish to claim victory in 9:16.14.

She followed it by placing fourth at the Brussels Diamond League Meet in 9:09.63 before setting a new personal best time of 9:06.14 in Zurich.

In Basketball, Okot played a critical role for KPA as they clinched the national women basketball league title and was also an integral part of the Kenyan team that reached the quarter finals in 3×3 basketball at the Commonwealth Games.

Kenyan basketballer Medina Okot

She also played a vital role for the Under-23 side that qualified for the 3×3 World Championships in Romania for the first time. She was named as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the Africa Qualifiers as well as the international camp in Egypt.

Boxer Wangare also earns a nomination 

Another nominee in the awards is fast-rising boxer Jane Wangare who is already causing ripples at only 17 years. She was been named deputy captain for Team Kenya to the World Youth Boxing Championships in Alicante, Spain.

Wangare won both the national novices and intermediate in minimum weight and is touted as Kenyan Olympian Christine Ongare’s successor.

In weightlifting, Rachael Achieng is the player to watch in the nominations. The 17-year-old has been voted as the most improved having been declared the national champion in women 64 kg class.

Achieng was the only female representative at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham where she was ranked 11th after lifting a total of 155 kgs with 70ks in snatch and 85kgs in clean and jerk.

MOST PROMISING GIRL NOMINEES:

Medina Okot (Basketball)

Faith Cherotich (Athletics)

Betty Chelangat (Athletics)

Jane Wangare (Boxing)

Rachel Achieng (Weightlifting)

Jackline Chepkoech (Athletics)

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