The 2018 Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year Awards (SOYA) on Friday went down at Fort Jesus in Mombasa.

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While welcoming the visitors, Governor Ali Hassan Joho said it was a great honor to host the Safaricom Soya awards in Mombasa during its 15th anniversary celebrations. 

Several athletes, sportsmen and women battled it out for various titles, with Eliud Kipchoge emerging the overall winner.

"Congratulations to all the winners. Special tribute to Eliud Kipchoge for emerging the overall winner. Mombasa is happy to host the next three editions of SOYA. Thank you Paul Tergat for your outstanding leadership in sports," said Joho.

Other leaders that were in attendance were the Deputy Governor Dr. William Kingi, County Assembly Speaker Aharub Ebrahim Khatri and Sylvia Wairimu Mulinge Chief Customer Officer at Safaricom Limited.

Some of the athletes present included: Africa’s Fastest Woman Marie - Josee Ta Lou, legendary champion Douglas Wakiihuri and the Chairman of the National Olympics Committee Kenya (Nock) Paul Targat among other celebrated sports personalities.

Ta Lou’s track career has had breakdown moments but her zeal, consistency and working hard has made the 30-year-old become a world champion. 

The 100M and 200M Silver medalist at the London World Championships 2017 was at Mbaraki in Mombasa to motivate young sprinters and athletes from Mombasa as she also prepares for the World Championships in Doha later this year. 

"We urge our young runners to learn from Ta Lou and persist in their careers to their desired successful highs. Sports has proved to be an important career and a source of economic growth for many nations in the world. It’s worthy embracing," Kingi said after welcoming her to Mombasa.

"We also believe that with the support of the NOCK we shall be able to position Mombasa in the world map of water sports tourism. There is a vast play ground in our waters which we shall seek to convert into appropriate sporting use," he added.