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Swimmer Maria Brunhelner beats Kipruto and Chespol for July Award

Double Africa Youth swimming gold medalist Maria Brunhelner was feted by Sports Journalists Association of Kenya in cooperation with StarTimes as the best sports person of the Month of July.

The swimmer won kenya three medals at the Africa Youth Games in Algiers, Algeria. She won two gold in her 50m and 100m freestyle before taking silver medal in the 50m breaststroke.

In the freestyle, Brunhelner set the championship record of 26.14 repeated her feat in the 100m where she posted 58.87 seconds.

In the 50m breaststroke, she clocked 34.04 seconds, losing out narrowly to Morocco’s Imane Houda El Barodi, who tapped the wall in 33.03

Brunhelner exploits saw her get called up to the Kenya Olympic Youth Games team in Buenos Aires Argentina and she also earned selection to the CANA Zone Three Championships slated for Khartoum Sudan in November.

Brunlehner was awarded with a 43-inch StarTimes digital TV Set, Sh100,000 in prize money, and a customized trophy. Her award was collected by her mother since she is based in Germany.

Speaking through Skype, Brunlehner, 18, whose awards were collected by her mother at the Mombasa Academy, was humbled with the award adding that it will motivate her to continue winning.

“I did not see this coming, I am excited because you guys have made my day. I am hoping to come to Kenya next year for the nationals and I have my eyes set on the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo,” Maria said through a Skype interview from her base in Germany.

“Swimming is fun, but it requires a lot of dedication, but I thank my sister for always inspiring me,” she added.

In a vote conducted by the Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK) Sports Personality of the Month Commission, Brunhelner edged out World U20 champions Rhonex Kipruto and Celliphine Chespol in the vote for the coveted award.

Kipruto bagged gold in the 10,000 meters while Chespol took gold in the 3000 metres steeplechase at the World Under 20 Championship in Finland. Another nominee in July was Emmanuel Korir who clocked the fastest time in the two lap race this year when he registered 1:42.05 at the London Diamond League meeting.

The sports personality of the month award is a partnership between pay television Company StarTimes and SJAK to reward all deserving sports personalities on a monthly basis in a bid to bolster the general performance of sport in the country as well as whipping up the enthusiasm of Kenya’s sports men and women in the country.

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