Recognition of sporting excellence

Sportsman of the year Collins Injer represented by his younger brother Micheal Agevi and Sportswoman of the year Linet Masai during the Soya awards ceremony at KICC. Photo/CHRIS OMOLLO

What you need to know:

  • Country’s top sports talent gets rewards for their year’s efforts

The air at the Sports Personality of the Year Awards (Soya) gala was heavy with anxiety as athletes waited expectantly to find out if they were among the winners.

Finally, it was Linet Masai and Collins Injera who shone as they were crowned the top prizes in the Safaricom- sponsored event.

Like the greater writer Marva Collins once said, ‘success doesn’t come to you…you go to it.’ As the evening dusked, the invited guest moved in silence to their seats at the plenary hall of the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, (KICC).

The stage was set, and history was about to be written.

It was a combative and successful year and time had come for athletes to harvest from their sweat. Present to witness the coronation were the country’s top sportsmen and retired athletes among the invited guest.

Not even Uncle Moody Awori could afford to stay away and so was Safaricom Chief Executive Michael Joseph and Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta.

After six years reign, track and field athletes especially in the men category could not measure up to the task as the charging rugby sevens boys swept the podium.

There was no space for World marathon champion Abel Kirui, Ezekiel Kemboi, the world 3,000m steeplechase champion, Gregory Oluoch of Karate or swimmer Jason Dunford.

Collins Injera, epitomised the success of rugby seven after he was confirmed as the 2009 International Rugby Board (IRB) Sevens circuit top scorer. He is away is South Africa with the Kenya team.

Linet Masai, cut short her training in Europe to come home for the awards got Sh150,000 cheque forthe best female athlete of the year. She edged out Vivian Cheruiyot, the 5,000m world champion and Carolyne Tollo of karate.

“It is the best thing to happen to me. Before these classy athletes, it was me they could settle on? I am happy,” she said.

“I dedicate this award to my parents and brother Moses (Masai), the one who inspired and guided me through training, It is our victory,” said Masai.