World cross-country champion Beatrice Chebet is the December 2023 SJAK/LG sports personality of the month.
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.
The champion, 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 is 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.
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.
Basketballer 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.