Kipchoge, Kosgei tipped to claim top gong as Mombasa hosts Awards gala
As Kenya’s sporting fraternity converge at Mombasa Sports Club for the 16th edition of the Sports Personality of the Year Awards (SOYA) this evening, one and all will be waiting to find out who will be crowned the finest of 2019.
Eliud Kipchoge has been tipped to defend the overall title he won in 2018 after breaking the marathon world record in Berlin.
Kipchoge got his 2019 year off by winning the London Marathon in April for a record fourth time in a course record time of 2:02:37. The 35-year old then dedicated his time to training for the famous INEOS 1:59 Challenge.
On October 12, Kipchoge hit world headlines when he became the first man in history to break the two-hour barrier in a marathon, clocking 1:59:40 in a specially arranged race in Vienna, Austria.
Though not recognised as an official world record, the impact of his achievement to sports as a whole is yet to be matched. Since that feat, the father of three has received various awards including defending the World Athletics Male Athlete of the Year award.
It will, however, be interesting to see whether Kipchoge will be beaten to the award by other athletes contesting for the honours.
The men’s list has world 1,500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot, Olympic and world 3,000m steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto, world half marathon record holder Geoffrey Kamworor and Harambee Stars forward Michael Olunga.
World 5,000m champion Helen Obiri leads the women’s list that also has Ruth Chepng’etich, world marathon champion, marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei, 3,000m steeplechase world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech and bodybuilder Evelyne Owala.
Owala entered her name in the annals of sporting history by emerging the 2019 African champion in the Wellness division as well as the Arnold Classic, winning both titles during the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Championships held in Angola and South Africa, respectively.