Teen tennis star Okutoyi, rally ace MacRae named January and February’s best

Teen tennis star Okutoyi, rally ace MacRae named January and February’s best

“I now feel motivated ahead of my busy calendar starting with Croatia Rally where I will compete in the Junior WRC, Pearl of Uganda, ARC Equator Rally and round up with the WRC Safari Rally,” MacRae, who was flanked by his dad Phineas, a retired Rally driver said.

Youngsters McRae Kimathi and tennis teen sensation Angela Okutoyi have been feted as the LG/Sports Journalists Association of Kenya sportsmen of the month for February and January respectively.

Okutoyi was an outright favourite for the January gong having made history by becoming the first ever Kenyan woman to play at the Australian Open when she reached the third round of the Junior Championship in Melbourne.

Others who were nominated alongside her included Daniel Simiyu, who won the Valencia 10k, Shujaa’s Vincent Onyala and middle-distance runner Norah Jeruto.

On the other hand, Junior WRC star Kimathi won the February award after becoming the first ever Kenya to finish a rally on snow on WRC Sweden.

He finished the WRC3 category in a credible third and fourth in Junior WRC.        

He beat Ferdinand Omanyala, who broke the men’s 60m dash national record, Milton Ilakhuya who was the top points scorer for Kenya at the wheelchair basketball World Cup qualifiers where they won the Africa bronze.

Another nominee was Lavender Zawadi who was Kenya's best performer at the Catchball World Championship qualifiers in Israel where Kenya qualified for Portugal in June.

Hellen Obiri was also a nominee for the month of February for finishing second in the RAK Half Marathon in a fifth fastest time of 64:22 and Collins Kipruto for his 1500m win at Muller and 800m at the Meeting de l'Eure in Val-de-Reuil in France.

“January was such a good month for Kenyan Tennis and myself after I won a match at the Australian Grand Slam. We have come from far and I am proud to have lifted the Kenyan flag on high,” said Okutoyi who spoke through a recorded video from Morocco.

McRae on his part said: “The award goes a long way in motivating young and upcoming sports personalities realise their potential in sport. It also fuels one’s passion to give more to the sport.”

“I now feel motivated ahead of my busy calendar starting with Croatia Rally where I will compete in the Junior WRC, Pearl of Uganda, ARC Equator Rally and round up with the WRC Safari Rally,” MacRae, who was flanked by his dad Phineas, a retired Rally driver said.

Speaking while awarding the winners, LG Marketing Director, Changhyun Kim, said the partnership has over the years boosted players’ morale and maintain interest in sports across the country.

“We are grateful to have had the opportunity to support SJAK and top tier sports personalities over the last seven years. Within this period, we managed to reward many of the said personalities and empower them in their journey to the top,” the LG boss said.

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