Kibai crowned Sports Personality 2013
By Veresso Mwanga
Deaflympian Simon Cherono Kibai is the 2013 Sports personality of the Year. Kibai a triple gold medalist at this year’s Summer Defalympics games in Bulgaria beat other leading sportsmen and women including World and Olympic Steeplechase champion Ezekiel Kemboi, Kenya and Southampton midfielder Victor Wanyama and two time world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat to clinch the coveted SOYA title.
Kibai was also the men’s winner in the special needs and physical challenges category at the 10th edition of the Safaricom SOYA awards held last night at the Nairobi National Park.
The 24 year old Cherono Kibai was crowned Sports Personality of the year 2013 at a colorful gala held at the Ivory burning site within the Nairobi national Park.
Kibai who won gold medals in the 5000m, 10,000m and 1500m at this year’s Deaflympics summer games in Sofia Bulgaria where he set two records was also the men’s winner in the special category.
His team mate and gold medalist at the Deaflympics Beryl Wamira won the women’s title.
World and Olympic steeple chase champion Ezekiel Kemboi and two time world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat won the sportsman and sports woman of the year accolades.
It was triple victory for veteran volleyball coach David Lungaho who was crowned tactician of the year while his Kenya prisons team won the women’s team of the year trophy as the national women’s team which he also coaches was ranked second best.
The men’s team of the year title went to the Kenya Sevens team whose dream run in the sevens world cup in Russia this year saw them finishing 4th.
The most promising sports personalities were upcoming swimmer Emily Muteti and motorsports Tejas Hirani while the Kenya secondary schools sports association was named federation of the year .
Roselyn Odhiambo who has defied all odds to continue playing volleyball despite undergoing two heart surgeries won the comeback of the year award while national Javelin record holder Julius Yego aka Youtube man who finished 4th at the world athletics championships in Moscow Russia this year was acknowledged for most outstanding performance.
Veteran cyclist David Kinja who mentored this year’s Tour de France winner Chris Froome clinched the community heroes award while legendary boxer Philip Waruinge a silver medalist at the 1972 Olympic games in Munich Germany was inducted into the hall of fame.
This year also marked the 10th anniversary of the Soya awards and what fitting way to crown the gala than with cake cutting and live entertainment.