Accolades keep coming for world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge. The marathon great, who has won 10 of 11 races he has featured in, was yesterday named United Nations Kenya Person of the Year just a day after he was nominated alongside three other Kenyans for the IAAF World Athlete of the Year Award.
Kipchoge received the award at United Nations headquarters in Nairobi’s Gigiri yesterday where he was lauded for his exemplary performances, courage, work on HIV/Aids and endurance.
The athlete set a world marathon record of 2:01:39 in Berlin, Germany last month, shattering the previous mark of 2:02:57 set on the same course by compatriot Dennis Kimetto in 2014 with fellow Kenyans Amos Kipruto and Wilson Kipsang securing a clean sweep in 2:06:23 and 2:06:48 respectively.
His incredible winning time was a full 78 seconds better than the previous mark, the first time the world record had been lowered by more than a minute in a race for 39 years and the single greatest improvement for 51 years.
This was the icing on the cake for Kipchoge in what has been a wonderful year that started with winning the London Marathon in April.
On Wednesday, Kipchoge alongside compatriots Timothy Cheruiyot and Emmanuel Korir were shortlisted among 10 athletes set to battle it out for the IAAF Male Athlete of the Year on December 10 in Monaco.
The selection panel cited Kipchoge’s heroics in London and Berlin as the reason for his inclusion while Cheruiyot was nominated for recording world leads at both 1,500m and one mile, with nine out of 11 wins across those distances. Cheruiyot’s IAAF Diamond League win and silver medals at the Commonwealth Games and African Championships also impressed the panel.
Korir is on the list courtesy of his world lead and the world’s fastest at 800m since 2012, IAAF Diamond League and Continental Cup wins as well as African Championships silver.
The three were nominated a day after Beatrice Chepkoech made the women’s list for her world steeplechase record set in Monaco in July, backed up by the third-quickest time as well as winning seven out of eight steeplechase finals.
A three-way voting process will determine the finalists. The IAAF Council and the IAAF Family will cast their votes by email, while fans can vote online via the IAAF’s social media platforms.
Voting for the Female World Athlete of the Year closes on November 12 while the men’s vote close a day after. At the conclusion of the voting process, five men and five women finalists will be announced by the IAAF.