Harambee Stars striker Michael Olunga and World Half-Marathon record-holder Peres Jepchirchir have been named the Most Outstanding Sports Personalities during the 2020 Soya Awards.
Olunga was feted in absentia during the annual Sports Personality of the Year awards ceremony held in Naivasha on Saturday, 20th February, 2021.
He bagged the men’s gong after beating reigning half-marathon record holder Kibiwott Kandie and ‘Hit Squad’ captain Nick Okoth.
Taking to his Twitter account, Olunga expressed his joy at the recognition.
“Happy to have been named the Outstanding Sports Personality of the Year in the Soya 2020. I thank God for all His blessings. Thanking my family, teammates, and everyone who in one way or the other helped me achieve this feat @ogada_victor,” said Olunga.
Olunga had an outstanding year, becoming the top scorer for Kashiwa Reysol in his maiden season in the Japanese top-flight league.
The 26-year-old topped the chart with 28 goals, winning the Golden Boot and the J-League 2020 Most Valuable Player ( MVP), becoming the first African to get the award.
His great achievement earned him a big move to Qatari side Al Duhail SC, where he has already scored four times.
Olunga could feature for the national team when they take on Egypt, at home, on 22nd March, 2021, and Togo, away, on 30th March in the final rounds of the 2022 Afcon Qualifiers.
The 2022 World Cup qualifiers have also been lined up between June and November.
Meanwhile, World Half-Marathon record-holder Peres Jepchirchir was also named 2020 Outstanding Sportswoman of the Year.
Jepchirchir smashed the women’s half-marathon record when she clocked 1:05:16 at the World Half-Marathon in Gydnia, Poland.
Special Olympics athletes Stella Chelangat and Onesmus Munyao were recognised as the Most Outstanding Man and Woman Living With Disabilities.