Double World Deaf Athletics champion Simon Kibai and Tokyo Paralympics women’s 1,500 metres T11 bronze medalist Nancy Chelangat are among the nominees for the 2021 Sportsmen and Women Living with Disability.
The winners in the two categories will be announced during the 2021 Sports Personality of the Year Awards (Soya) slated for January 25 at the Bukhungu Stadium, Kakamega County.
This will be the first time the Soya Gala is being held in the Western region.
This year’s awards are sponsored by Kakamega County, Lotto Foundation, CPF Financial Services, National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and Safaricom.
Kibai, who won the men’s 10,000m and 5000m titles at the Fourth World Deaf Athletics Championships held August 23-28 at the Lublin Athletics Stadium in Poland, will battle out with three other athletes for the top honour.
They are Erick Sang and Felix Kipruto, who represented Kenya at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games and Wilson Bii, who won silver in 1,500m at the World Para Athletics Grand Prix in Dubai in February.
Kibai claimed the 10,000m gold on the first day of the championships in Poland in the season’s best 29 minutes 44.44 seconds before leading David Kipkogei to a 1-2 finish in the 5,000m final in another season’s best of 14: 25.19.
The 34-year-old Kibai holds the 5000m Deaflympics record of 14:02.90.
Sang, guided by David Korir, led Wilson Bii to a Kenya 1-2 sweep in the 1500m T11 race in Dubai in 4:17.10 seconds before bagging silver in 5, 000m at the World Para Athletics Grand Prix in March in Tunis, Tunisia in 15:59.62.
At the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games, Sang finished sixth in the finals of the 1,500m in 4:21.53.
Bii, guided by Robert Tarus, won the 5,000m gold medal in the Tunis World Para Athletics Grand Prix in March with 15:56.20 time before taking silver in the 1,500m T11 race. He also claimed a silver medal in Dubai in the 1,500m race won by Sang.
Kipruto led teammates Wesley Kimeli and Stanley Misik to a clean sweep in the T46 1,500m final in 4: 03.34 in Dubai where he settled for silver in the 400m in 54.33.
Kipruto also won a silver in the T46 1,500m race in Tunisia but was eliminated in the first round in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.
Chelangat with her guide Geoffrey Malel, was the only athlete, who won a medal for Kenya at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games with bronze in the T11 1,500m. She clocked season’s 4:45.58 in the final.
Chelangat will face off fellow Tokyo Paralympians, powerlifter Hellen Wawira and rowers Asiya Sururu and Berly Atieno.
Chelangat had earlier clinched two gold medals at the Dubai Para Athletics Grand Prix. She won the 1,500m race in a duo sweep with Mary Waithera where she clocked 4:57.51 before sealing a double with victory in the 400m 64.40.
Wawira was the first Kenyan female powerlifter to grace the Tokyo Paralympic Games where she ended up fifth overall in the 41 kilogrammes category, with the best attempt of 93kg.
Sururu became the first female rower to the Paralympic Games where she settled 10th with a time of 14 minutes 27.48 seconds in the single sculls at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games.
Atieno settled second in the women’s 200m in 25.42 seconds to claim silver at the World Deaf Athletics Championship in Poland, finishing behind Katsiaryna Zhurbenkova from Belarus in 25 .19.