NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 21 – Eleven-year-old tennis player Selline Ahoya is among five youngsters who have been nominated for the Most Promising girl gong at this year’s Sports Personality of the Year Awards (SOYA) gala awards set for Kakamega County on January 19.
Ahoya, a pupil at St. Bridget Catholic Primary school is ranked first in the Under 12 national rankings.
She was a finalist in the Under-14 category during the Confederation of African Tennis championship in June and in September, she won the Under-12 category at the Tennis Kenya Junior challenge.
She bounced back to the top of her game once again in October winning the Under-12 category in the East Africa teams’ competition in Kampala, Uganda where she also won the overall title to qualify for the November Africa junior championship in Tunisia.
Ahoya will however face still challenge from three track stars and a footballer.
She is up against three World Athletics Under-20 champions Purity Chepkirui, Teresia Muthoni and Jackline Chepkoech.
Chepkirui won the 1,500m title at the event staged in Nairobi, becoming the first Kenyan girl to win the race in nine years.
She won the title in 4:16.07 to end Ethiopia’s dominance, as her compatriot Winnie Jemutai clocked 4:18.99 for bronze.
Chepkirui also won the women’s Under-20 race during the National Cross Country Championships in February this year.
Muthoni meanwhile has been nominated, having won Kenya’s first gold medal at the Under-20 showpiece when she led a Kenyan 1-2 finish in the 3,000m, finishing first ahead of Zenah Jemutai.
Muthoni triumphed in a personal best time of 13:20.37 seconds as Jemutai took silver in 13:20.65.
Chepkoech meanwhile also clinched a gold medal for Kenya having mastered the 3,000m steeplechase, the race in personal best time of 9:27.40.
Footballer Violet Nanjala of Vihiga Queens will be the other non-athlete nominated for the award.
The 19-year-old was poached by Vihiga Queens from Trans Nzoia Falcons after topping the Zone B FKF Women’s Premier League side with 21 goals thanks to four hat-tricks.
Nanjala scored four goals in the inaugural 2021 CAF Women’s Champions League CECAFA Qualifiers, netting all in one game against South Sudan’s Yei Join Stars.
Most Promising Girl nominees:
Selline Ahoya- Tennis
Purity Chepkirui- Athletics
Teresia Muthoni Gatheri- Athletics
Jackline Chepkoech- Athletics
Violet Nanjala- Football