Nairobi — The national basketball 3X3 squad has made the cut to the top five nominees of the 2023 Sports Personality of Year Awards (SOYA) Sports Team Women category, ahead of the 20th anniversary celebrations scheduled for February 23.
Other nominees are the national women’s volleyball team, Malkia Strikers, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) basketball team, Roll-Ball and Nairobi Water Handball team.
Speaking ahead of the annual awards set to be hosted in Nairobi, SOYA Founder, Paul Tergat said, “We are happy to host this event to fete our heroes and heroines in the sporting arena. This year marks two decades since we started the awards. We remain grateful to all our stakeholders for believing in this great initiative,” intimated Dr. Paul Tergat, the five-time world cross country champion said.
To make it into the top five, the 3X3 team comprising of Madina Okot, Natalie Mwangale, Mercy Wanyama and Hilda Indasi made history by winning the Africa title.
The team shocked the world by winning gold after stunning hosts Egypt 21-20 courtesy of a huge buzzer-beating two victory from Mwangale to stay on course for Paris 2024 Olympic Games qualification.
Heading to the final, both sides were undefeated but Egypt enjoyed the advantage for most of the game.
Steps away from victory with a 19 – 13 lead, Egypt saw the gold medal slip away as Kenya mounted a comeback.
Mwangale, who had been immense all tournament called game with a huge buzzer-beating two to seal the improbable win for Kenya.
The national women’s volleyball teams, who have won the award before, recaptured the African title from Cameroon after seeing-off Egypt 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-14) in Yaoundé and technically qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
This historic win meant the Kenyans ended a 8-year-long wait for an African title.
For the KPA basketball team, the year 2023 saw them successfully defend the national league title before heading to Kigali, Rwanda for the Zone V tournament where they recaptured the regional title after thrashing Rwanda Energy Group 87-53 in a one-sided final.
The win meant that they represented Zone Five at the inaugural FIBA Africa Women Basketball League (AWBL) where the Kenyan side bagged silver, following a 103-59 loss to hosts Egypt.
Little known sport Roll Ball on their end successfully retained the world title after beating Egypt 5-0 in the final in Pune, India. It was Kenya’s third global victory following wins in 2015 and 2019.
Angela Kithinji and Veronica Satia both scored twice and Judith Rop added a fifth as Kenya once again showed its prowess with an excellent performance.
The final performance rounded off a great outing for the Kenyan ladies who went through the whole tourney unbeaten after defeating Nepal 8-1, France 10-0, Sri Lanka 6-2 and Egypt 2-1 in the group stages.
In the semis, the ladies put up a gallant performance to edge out Poland 1-0.
Nairobi Water handball team carried on their winning ways in 2023to win the Kenya national league title and the Super Cup as well.
-Sports Team Women Top Five
Nairobi Water Handball Team
Roll Ball Team
Kenya 3X3 Basketball
Malkia Strikers – Volleyball