Jepkosgei, Dunford are Kenya’s best sports personalities for 2007

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Swimming star Jason Dunford and reigning women’s 800m World champion Janeth Jepkosgei are Kenya’s best sports personalities for the year 2007.

Dunford was rewarded for his exploits at last year’s All-Africa Games in Algiers where he scooped eight medals – three gold, three silver and two bronze.

The duo clinched the Kenya Safaricom Sports personality of the Year awards at a colourful ceremony Wednesday night.

Dunford and Jepkosgei, who took the sportsman and sportswoman of the year awards respectively, took home US$ 1,515 prize money each.

Jepkosgei’s most notable achievement in 2007 was beating the multi-talented Mari a Mutola of Mozambique to clinch the women’s 800m gold at the IAAF World Champio n ships in Osaka, Japan, where she 1:56.04 in the race.

She also clocked 1:57.88 to clinch gold at the 2006 Commonwealth Games. She is n ow targeting the Olympic gold in Beijing, China, if she qualifies for the games.

Jepkosgei is a police officer in Kenya.

National women’s volleyball team captain, Dorcas Ndasaba, emerged runner-up in t he women’s category, pocketing US$ 575, while Vivian Cheruiyot was third.

Dunford, currently in the US where he is also preparing for the World Championsh ip in Manchester, England, beat last year’s London and New York marathons champion, Ma rtin Lel, to the second spot.

Samuel Wanjiru, the current World half marathon record holder was third.

An elated Jepkosgei said: “ I did not expect to win this category because it had big names like Ndasaba, who was very instrumental to Kenya’s qualification for V olleyball World Cup in Japan. But, I am grateful that I won the trophy again.”

The Kenya Motorsport Foundation took the best sports federation award, while the National Sevens rugby team was declared best masculine sports team, taking hom e US$ 1,893.

The women’s junior team which executed a 1-2-3 finish at last year’s IAAF World Cross Country Championship in Mombasa, lifted the best team crown in the women’s category, pocketing US$ 1,893.

The motor sport body was praised for running its programmes on schedule and deve loping a very good working relationship with the media.

The rugby sevens squad started the 2007/08 IRB Sevens World Series tournaments w ith the Plate semi-final finish in Dubai and winning the Plate Final in George i n December last year.

Asbel Kiprop, 19, the 2007 IAAF World Cross Country Championship junior men gold medal, was declared the most promising (male) sports personality.

Kiprop is also the 2007 All-Africa Games 1500m gold medallist.

Another 19 year-old athlete, Ruth Bosibori who set the 3000m steeplechase world junior record at last year’s World Championships in Japan, took the most-promising crown in the women’s category. Each of them got US$ 575.

Retired tennis player, Paul Wekesa, was entered in the Hall of Fame.

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