Tennis stars nominated for honours in Soya gala - Daily Nation

Tennis stars nominated for honours in Soya gala

Sunday December 30 2018

Samuel Kuria competes in Wheelchair Race during the Stanchart Marathon on October 28, 2018 in Nairobi. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Samuel Kuria competes in the Wheelchair Race during the Stanchart Marathon on October 28, 2018 in Nairobi. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By AYUMBA AYODI
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Will wheelchair tennis stars Peter Munuve and Jane Ndenga be lucky this time around with the Sports Personality of the Year Awards (Soya) Gala moving outside Nairobi for the first time?

That is the question after the two tennis players once again earned nomination for the Sportsman and woman Living with a Disability Awards.

However, Munuve, who was nominated for the first time in 2017, will have to beat handballer Dickson Ondwari for the men's award.

Also in the mix are wheelchair racers Samuel Kuria and Henry Caleb Otieno.

The winner will be known during the 2018 Soya Gala planned for January 11 at the iconic Fort Jesus, Mombasa.

Ndenga, who has been nominated three times before, faces Special Olympics Team Kenya goalkeeper Michelle Kaindi and wheelchair racers Caroline Wanjira, Eunice Adhiambo and Asia Mohammed for the women's Award.

Munuve started his season well, winning bronze in singles at the World Team Cup Africa qualifier in Nairobi in February, before claiming silver medals in singles and doubles during the ITF Nairobi Open Futures tournament the same month.

Munuve once again settled for silver in singles at Britam Kenya Open in September.

He again claimed silver medals in singles and doubles at ITF Dan Devan Wheelchair Tennis Futures in Ghana and Nigeria Wheelchair Open respectively all in October.

Munuve finished third in the category in 2017, losing out to Soya overall winner Samuel Mushai and Henry Kirwa.

Ondwari was the second highest top scorer at the 2018 World Deaf Handball Championship with 36 goals, four short of the highest scorer Murat Chomaev of Russia.

Kiptum stunned defending champion Peter Toroitich to win the Safaricom Deaflympics Half Marathon in a time of 1 hour, 08 minutes and 02 seconds while Kuria won wheelchair 21km race followed by Otieno during the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon in October.

Ndenga, who has for the last three years earned nomination but without success, had one of her best seasons.

Ndenga started the year in style, winning gold in both singles at the ITF World Team Cup Africa qualifier in February in Nairobi.

That saw her qualify for the World Team Cup held in June-July in the Netherlands.

Then Ndenga would be elected as one of the 11 regional representatives at the ITF World Wheelchair Players' Council in July.

Ndenga also won gold in doubles and reached singles semi-finals at ITF Nairobi Open Futures in February. She followed it up with similar results at Britam Kenya Open in September, where she won gold in doubles before reaching the semis in singles.

Ndenga would settle for silver medals in singles and doubles respectively at ITF Dan Devan Wheelchair Tennis Futures in Ghana and Nigeria Wheelchair Open all in October.

Kaindi was the keeper at Special Olympics Team Kenya for Soccer Unity Cup held in Chicago.

Kenya might have finished sixth overall, but Kaindi won Golden Gloves for her outstanding performance. She conceded only four goals against eventual winners Slovakia while saving three.

She conceded four while saving five against silver medallists Brazil. She also conceded four while saving three against USA.

Wanjira won the women's wheelchair 21km race during the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon in October, beating Adhiambo and Mohammed respectively.

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