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SOYA Awards: Gor Mahia, Malkia Strikers nominated

Kenya Premier League  (KPL) football champions Gor Mahia and national Volleyball women team Malkia strikers are among the men and women teams nominated for 2017 teams of the year ahead of Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year Award (SOYA) awards set for next year.

Gor, who won the league with four matches to spare, will battle it out with the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) (rugby), Kenya Under-19 Cricket team, Kenya Police (hockey) team and Strathmore University (handball).

KCB had a successful season after winning all the three major rugby 15s titles — Kenya Cup, Enterprise Cup and Impala Floodlit under coach Curtis Olago.

They claimed their fifth Kenya Cup victory after beating champions Kabras Sugar 36-8 in the final before claiming their sixth Enterprise Cup title when they rallied from 0-10 to silence Kabras Sugar 27-23.

The bankers went for their fifth Impala Floodlit title, beating Impala Saracens 18-17 in the final.

KCB also produced the highest number of players (13) to the Kenya Simbas side that won the Elgon Cup and finished second in Rugby Africa Gold Cup besides taking part in the Cup of Nations in Hong Kong.

The national U19 Cricket team went into contention for the local diadem after qualifying for the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup set for next year in New Zealand

Their historic qualification put Kenya, a once-time cricket powerhouse, back to the world map. The qualification also marked the beginning of Kenya’s journey to recovery after years of poor performance internationally.

During the Africa qualifiers the Kenyans put up a spectacular performance that will not be easily forgotten, having lost to Uganda in the first round, many had written them off and given the ticket to the Ugandan side that seemed stronger based on the huge victories they had registered in the championship.

Kenya Lionesses will fight it out with the national women’s volleyball team (Malkia strikers), the women’s cricket team, Telkom Orange (hockey), Kenya Prisons and Kenya Pipeline clubs (volleyball).

The Kenya Lionesses reached the Main Cup quarter-finals of the Sevens Women’s World Series qualifiers, their best performance after lifting the bowl at last year’s qualifiers held in Ireland.

The team bagged silver at the Africa Cup Sevens Championship held in Tunisia and as well qualified for the 2018 Commonwealth Games despite missing the World Cup slot to South Africa.

Malkia Strikers beat Egypt by straight sets to finish top in the Africa Zone Five World Championship qualifiers to book a slot to the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, where they won silver behind the hosts.

Selected teams

Female team of the year

  1. Kenya Pipeline (volleyball)
  2. Kenya Prison (Volleyball)
  3. Women National Cricket team
  4. Malkia Strikers (volleyball national team)
  5. Kenya Lionesses (national women’s rugby 7s team)
  6. Telecom club (Hokey)

Men team of the year

  1. Gor Mahia (football)
  2. KCB (Rugby15s)
  3. Kenya Under19 (Cricket)
  4. Strathmore (Handball)
  5. Kenya Police (Hokey)
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