World Cross Country champion and World 5km record holder Beatrice Chebet, is the December 2023 Sports Journalists Association of Kenya and LG Sports Personality of the Month winner.
Chebet clocked 14:13 at the Cursa dels Nassos on Sunday, December 31, to improve on the previous women-only world record of 14:29 set by Ethiopia’s Senbere Teferi in Herzogenaurach on September 12, 2021.
The 23-year-old National Police Officer’s performance was also faster than the women’s world record set in a mixed race of 14:19, achieved by Ethiopia’s Ejegayehu Taye at the 2021 Cursa dels Nassos.
Taye finished second behind Chebet in Sunday’s race, clocking 14:21, while Kenya’s Lilian Kasait was third in 14:26.
The trio – 5km medallists at the World Athletics Road Running Championships Riga 23 in October 2023 – dipped under the previous women-only world record mark.
For the December victory, Chebet was awarded an LG washing machine valued at Ksh 101,000.
This is Chebet’s second award after clinching the February 2023 gong following her world cross country title-winning display in Bathurst, Australia, on February 18.
“I’m very excited for winning my third Sports Personality of the month award and I want to thank LG and SJAK for recognising my efforts. I have already won three products from these awards and I think at this rate I have realised that if I continue winning my races and setting new records I may not have to do shopping in my house. I will just be performing on the track and winning these sports awards,” Chebet said.
She added: “This is a very busy year for athletes. I want to start my season by defending my World Cross Country Championships title and also want to win the 5,000m Olympics gold medal and God willing also break the world record in the race.”
She struck seven votes following Tuesday’s SPOM meeting to beat tennis sensation Angela Okutoyi by just a vote.
Okutoyi was nominated following a stellar performance at the ITF Women’s World Tennis Tour (W25) at the Nairobi Club, where she won both the singles and doubles titles.
Okutoyi outclassed German Lena Papadakis 6-4 1-6 1-6 in the singles and joined hands with Burundian Sada Nahimama to beat USA’s Jesse Aney/Papadakis 6-4 3-6 10-7 in the doubles.
Juniors Stars’ midfielder Aldrine Kibet tallied three votes after scoring three goals as the national team reached the final of the Cecafa U-18 Championships at Kenyatta Stadium in Kisumu, where they lost 2-1 to Uganda.
Basketball player Natalie Akinyi got two votes after steering Kenya Lionesses to the 3×3 Africa Cup in Cairo, Egypt.
She sank a three-point buzzer-beater to upset the hosts 21-20. The team booked a ticket to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games Universality-driven qualifiers set for Japan in May.
Gladys Chillo of Nairobi Water handball team was also recognised after scoring more than 30 goals as the team retained the East and Central Africa Clubs Championship title at Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi.
She was voted the tournament’s best left-back. Other nominees are Nairobi City Stars goalkeeper Edwin Mukolwe, Gor Mahia forward Benson Omalla, rally driver Baldev Chager, KPA’s Medina Okot, Kabras’ Derrick Ashiundu, Ulinzi Stars forward Boniface Muchiri and Junior Stars’ Collins Ochieng.
SJAK president James Waindi lauded Chebet for her achievements and urged her to strive to win more accolades in 2024.
He also thanked LG Electronics for their continued support, terming it as a yard stick to local sports sponsorships, urging more corporates to come on board and support the industry through rewarding excellence and CSR.
“Chebet’s record-breaking 5km victory in Barcelona on the last day of 2023 was the highlight of the year. Her journey to glory has been one of determination, dedication and a relentless pursuit of excellence. Her record-breaking performance not only showcases her incredible talent but also serves as an inspiration to aspiring athletes around the world,” said LG Electronics East Africa Managing Director Dongwon Lee.