Top 8 sporting moments in Kenya in 2015
1. Ladies crowned 2015 Women Africa Nations Volleyball Champions
Kenya national women volleyball team, the Malkia Strikers, thrashed their longtime rivals Algeria 3-0 in front of their ecstatic fans at Safaricom Indoor Stadium in June to be crowned the African queens. This triumph landed the team an invite to the Grand Prix Championships where they played against Peru , Mexico , Colombia, Algeria and Australia at the two-week competition.
2. Shujaa storm Rio games in epic style
Dennis Ombachi popped up with a last minute try,and a massive handoff, just as Kenya looked dead and buried with time on the clock virtually finished.
He raced 65 meters to score the decisive try as the Shujaas edged Zimbabwe 19-17 to win the Africa Sevens, and with it, claim Africa’s sole berth to the 2016 Rio Olympics.
It was the best moment of the weekend that had been largely a walk in the park for the local boys. The boys had dispatched Tunisia 42-12 in the semis after thrashing Madagascar 41-0 in the quarters.
Earlier Shujaa had had an easy run in the prelimanry matches winning 46-0 against Madagascar, 27-0 against Senegal and 50-5 against Mauritius. And with that massive fend by Ombachi, the boys will be at the inaugural rugby competition at the 2016 Olympic Games.
3. Gor Mahia with unprecedented unbeaten hat trick of titles
We’ve had teams winning the league before with an unbeaten record, but we haven’t had a team winning the title for the third time in a row with an unbeaten streak.
Gor Mahia class of 2015 was simply marvelous. They won big, scrapped through matches and did what was needed, chalk up points on the board.
Michael Olunga was the biggest revelation banging in goals almost every weekend and it was no surprise when he was named the KPL’s Most Valuable Player of the 2015 season.
4. Harambee Stars stop a much fancied Cape Verde team
In a year that football in Kenya enjoyed negative press more than positive mentions, this win against a side ranked fourth in Africa was something special to football fans. Kenya (ranked 38th in Africa in November 2015) chalked up a 1-0 victory against highly rated Cape Verde in a tough World Cup second round, first leg qualifying match at Nyayo Stadium in November.
Dependable forward Michael Olunga settled this contest with a well-taken goal in the 10th minute to silence the Blue Sharks, ranked fourth in Africa by Fifa.
Stars however failed to progress to the next phase of this competition after they lost 0-2 to the Cape Verdeans in Praia.
5. Telkom Orange win record eighth Africa title
Telkom Orange retained their Africa Hockey Club Championship title after edging out Ghana Police 3-2 on post-match penalties in a dramatic final at the Olympic Youth Development Centre Stadium in Lusaka, Zambia in December.
The game began on Saturday afternoon but had to be completed Sunday morning after heavy rains disrupted the final with half an hour played. The teams went straight into penalty strokes following a 1-1 stalemate after 70 minutes.
6. Kenya Are IAAF World Champions
For the first time, Kenya topped the medal standing at the IAAF World Championships, beating heavyweights Jamaica and United States of America.
Team Kenya hauled a total of 16 medals; seven gold, six silver and three bronze medals. Jamaica settled second with 7-2-3 and United States of America third with 5-6-6.
Among the athletes that helped Kenya in setting the record were deputy captain Vivian Cheruiyot who recaptured her 10,000m title and history-making Julius Yego (javelin) and Nicholas Bett (400m hurdles).
Yego became the first Kenya to win javelin gold at the World Championships with the third longest throw ever of 92.72 metres that was also an African record and World lead. Yego is the current Africa, Commonwealth and African Games champion.
Bett also made history as the first Kenyan to win a sprint event with victory in men’s 400m hurdles in a national record and world lead time of 47.79 seconds. The other gold medallists included new 3,000m steeplechase champion Hyvin Kiyeng.
7. Simbas roar as they crush visting test Sides
Kenya rugby national men’s XV team hosted an incoming tour series that included Portugal, Tunisia, Uganda and Spain. They won all their home tests and finished third in Africa after Rugby World Cup finalists Nambia and Zimbabwe.
The wins saw the rise of the Kenya fifteens team in the world rankings, breaking into the top 30 for the first time ever.. This was the first time the KRU played 6 test matches and this increased the visibility and popularity of the game at home.
8. YouTube man Julius Yego keeps on rising
History-making Julius Yego (javelin) became the first Kenya to win javelin gold at the World Championships with the third longest throw ever of 92.72 metres that was also an African record and World lead. Yego is the current Africa, Commonwealth and African Games champion.
Yego started his season well with victory in Ostrava Golden Spike javelin on May 26 where he broke his own Kenyan record with a new throw of 86.88m.He would later improve it on June 4 to 87.71m at the Golden Gala in Rome where he wound second.
Three days later, Yego won his maiden Diamond League event in Birmingham with a record breaking 91.39m. That would set the stage of his exploits at the Worlds.