Harambee Stars all-time top scorer Dennis Oliech, Tokyo Olympics marathon gold medalist Peres Jepchirchir, 100m national record holder Ferdinand Omanyala and Kenya Sevens great Humphrey Kayange are some of the top sports stars who were feted during the Mashujaa Day celebrations on Wednesday.
A total of 30 athletes both active and retired were awarded as heroes at Wanguru Stadium in Kirinyaga County.
Below includes the biographies of some of the athletes;
1 Dennis Oliech (Kisumu County)-He was recruited from Youth Football Ranking from Coca Cola under 17 years to the National youth team. He represented the country at Africa and World Qualifiers. He played professional football in Qatar and France. Oliech is considered as one of the most talented Kenyan players, popularly known as the ‘menace’
2 Peres Jepchirichir (Nandi County)-She won the2016 world half marathon Gold medal at Cardiff in London. 2017 world record in half marathon in at RAK in Dubai 2020 world record holder in half marathon at Prague in Czech Republic. 2020 World Record Holder in Poland World Half Marathon. Gold medalist in Tokyo 2020 women marathon. She is a professional long-distance runner who competes mainly in road running competitions.
3 John Bob Oyugi (Siaya County)- Former National Football Player. -Senior Football Coach and Instructor. Currently involved with the development of Kenyan Youths, and Sports Developments Sports organ with Kenya Academy of Sports. Innovations, and Nurturing of our Young Sports Men/Women.
4 Linus Wachoka (Kakamega County)-The 2004 National and prisons wrestling coach and currently he is the Naivasha prisons wrestling coach. 1998 wrestling Olympian in Korea Olympic games. 1994 commonwealth games in Canada. 1996 Atlanta Olympian. 2002 commonwealth games in Manchester. 2013 commonwealth games in Scotland. Bronze medalist in 1991 African games in Cairo, Egypt. Bronze medalist in 2003 African games.
5 Hamphrey Kayange – Played Rugby sevens. Winners (Singapore series, 2016). Competed in world Rugby seven series (2005-2016). Chair, Nock Athletes’ Commission (4years). Executive Board member, Kenya Academy of sports (3years). Secretary general Mwamba Rugby Football club (2years). World Rugby panel member (player of the year awards). Rugby Afrique Performance Committee member. IOC Member of the Athletes’ Commission (2021).
6. Ferdinand Omanyala- He is an avid sportsman who is recognized for the following achievements: -Nigeria Grand Prix April. Won 10.01 sec(NR). Olympic Pre-trials Kenya Won10.13sec. Olympic trials Won.10.02 sec. Olympic Semi finals 10.00 sec(NR). Austria Grand Prix won9.86 sec(NR, 23rd all-time best time, 8th fastest time in the world 2021). Lahti Motonet Grand Prix, Won, 10.09 sec (broke 26-year-old stadium record). White City Games Find Land won 10.06 sec. Brussels diamond league 4th. 10.02 sec. Best med invitational South Africa Won 10.06 seconds.
Others include Geoffrey Kiplangat Rotich from Kericho (Paralympic guide to Nancy Chelangat), Nanchy Chelangata (Paralympic gold medalists), Rose Tata, Ricky Solomon, Juma Wazir, Moses Mathenge and Asiya Mohammed.