Ferdinand Omanyala, Africa’s fastest sprinter in men’s 100m race, has been crowned the 2021 Sportsman of the Year at the 2021 Sports Personality of the Year Awards (SOYA) held at the Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega. Omanyala beat other nominees in the category including World Champion Marathoner Eliud Kipchoge and 800m Olympics gold medalist Emmanuel Korir to emerge top.

Olympic 1500m champion Faith Chepng’etich Kipyegon won in the women’s category, beating fellow nominees Peres Jepchirchir and Brigid Kosgei. The World 1,500m champion broke her 1500m national record twice last year. Despite finishing second at the Diamond League in Italy behind Sifan Hassan on June 10, 2021, her time of 3:53.9 her previous record of 3:54.22 set when winning the world title in Doha in 2019. A month later, she improved the record by two seconds when she won in Monaco in 3:51.07, beating Hassan to second place on July 9th, 2021.

Chepng’etich, 27, would stage a successful 1,500m title defence at the Tokyo Summer Games on August 6, winning in an Olympic Record time of 3:53.11 to beat Laura Muir and Hassan, who got silver and bronze respectively. Chepng’etich then claimed her second 1,500m Diamond League Trophy clocking 3:58.33 to win in Zurich on September 9, before ending her season with a successful defense of her 1,500m title at the Kip Keino classic.

Kenya 7s rugby team, Shujaa won the Team of the Year title at the awards, edging the current Kenya Cup holders KCB Rugby and FKF Premier League Champions Tusker. Shujaa won the Safari 7s for the first time since 2016 after defeating Germany 12-5. They bagged silver at Vancouver 7s after losing to South Africa 38-5 in the Cup final. The team finished 9th at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after beating Ireland 22-0 in the playoffs.

Tokyo 2020 Paralympics bronze medalist Nancy Chelangat won the Sportswoman Living with a Disability award, with Deaflympian Simon Kibai claiming the men’s award. Nancy’s medal was the only medal garnered by the Kenyan team at the 2021 Paralympic games.

Immediate former Harambee Starlets head gaffer Charles Okere nudged aside KCB’s head coach Curtis Olago to win the Coach of the Year award. Okere, a former Tusker FC Assistant Coach, guided Vihiga Queens at the inaugural Caf Women’s Champions League where they only won one match, beating Moroccan side AS FAR 2-0 while losing 1-0 to Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa and 4-0 to Rivers Angeles in the group stages. He was then appointed Harambee Starlets head coach in April and guided the team to an emphatic 15-1 win over South Sudan.

Vihiga Queens defeated Kenya Rugby Lionesses and Beach Volleyball team to win the Sports Team of the Year. In women’s football, three-time Kenyan Women’s Premier League champions, Vihiga Queens, beat Kenya Lionesses to win the Women’s Team of the Year award.

The Legacy Makers have had a season to remember after they were crowned the CECAFA champions in Nairobi after winning against the top team in the region. The fete saw them qualify for the first time for the CAF Women Champions League.

The Most Promising Boy award went to Heristone Wanyonyi, who stole the headlines as the first Kenyan to win the World Under-20 Walk race. The Most Promising Girl award was won by Teresia Muthoni, the 3,000m champion from the World U20 Championship.