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Paralympian history maker Wawira nominated for SOYA gong

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  • Wawira won Kenya’s paralympic medal at the Commonwealth Games
  • Fellow Paralympian Nancy Chelangat also nominated
  • The SOYA Awards are set for this month

Paralympians Hellen Wawira and Nancy Chelangat headline the initial list of nominees for the Sportswoman Living with Disability Award at this year’s Sports Personality of the Year Awards which will be staged in Nairobi.

Chelagat with an apparent insatiable appetite for success in 2022, maintained her dogged campaign to clinch gold in the T11 400m race in 1.04.25 seconds guided by her brother Geoffrey Rotich during the 2022 World Para athletics grand prix and 13th Fazza International Championship in Dubai.

Chelagat – the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics bronze medalist – also won silver in the T11 1500m race won by Mary Waithera in a Kenyan podium sweep with Nelly Nasimiyu taking bronze.

Her peer in the world of Para-lifting, Wawira, after winning a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, also continues to wield a strong case for the Sportswoman Living with a Disability award.

Gold at the World Paralifting Championships

Wawira who won a gold medal in the world para powerlifting championship in St. Louis, USA with a scintillating lift of 98kg, proceeded to the Commonwealth games in Birmingham where she racked up the bronze medal in the women’s lightweight competition with a best lift of 97kg.

Also, in the nomination list looking to win the coveted award, are the Deaflympics athletics trio of Beryl Wamira, Linnet Nanjala and Serah Wangari.

Wamira clinched silver in the 4x400m Relay and 4x400m mixed Relay at the Caxias Do Sul Deaflympics and settled for bronze in the 4x100m Relay and 200m at the same event.

Nanjala chalked up a silver medal in the 4x400m Relay and 4x400m mixed Relay in Caxius Do Sul.

Wangari, on the other hand, took the 10,000m silver in Brazil opening Kenya’s medal account before clinching bronze in Steeplechase.

Amateur golfer Makokha leads men’s list

Meanwhile, deaf amateur golfer, Isaac Makokha is among the nine nominees for the male award.

Makokha will face stiff opposition from highflying track and field persons with a disability athletes, including Rodgers Kiprop, double Deaflympics champion Simon Kibai, 1500m Deaflympics champion Ian Wambui, 3000m steeplechase Deaflympics gold medallist Lucas Wandia as well as experienced, Wilson Bii, among others.

Makhoha has savoured a brilliant year that will remain etched on his memory forever. The Vet Lab Sports Club player made history by winning Kenya’s first ever golf medal at the Summer Deaflympics Games in Brazil in May.

He bagged bronze after edging German Guldan Nico in a thrilling third-place play-off at the Caxias Golf Club.

Makhoha has also had seven top 10 finishes in key local events in the last 12 months, the prestigious Kabete Open being one of them, where he finished fourth overall.

Star athlete Wilson Bii has also made the shortlist after winning a gold medal in the T11/12 1500m race in 4 minutes 22.62seconds.

Also, in the shortlist for the disability award is wheelchair Javelin star Wesley Sang who won a gold medal in the T46 1500m race in 4 minutes 06.48 seconds at the Dubai championship.

Wheelchair Javelin ace James Mangerere has also been nominated for bagging silver in F57 with a throw of 38.65m in Dubai.

Captain Wandia also nominated 

Lucas Wandia served as the overall team Kenya captain at the 24th Deaflympics in Caxias Do Sul, Brazil, as he successfully defended the 3000m steeplechase title after clocking 9 minutes 29.27 seconds.

His counterpart Ian Wambui Kahinga, won the 1500m gold and silver in 5000m. Kahinga clocked 3.55.54 ahead of Jaime Morga of Spain (3.56.18) and Alexander Blei of Germany (3.57.10).

Sublime Simon Cherono Kibai racked up a Deaflympics double gold by defending the 5000m and 10,000m titles respectively. He still holds the world record holder of 10,000m going into the SOYA gala night.

Elikana Kiprop Rono has also made the coveted list after he won the 800m gold at the 2022 Deaflympic championships where the Kenya team was lauded for a stellar performance in the meet.

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