Kenyan athlete Eliud Kipchoge on December 4, 2018 gives his speech after receiving the IAAF Male World Athlete of the Year award in Monaco. On November 23, 2019, he was named World Athletics Male Athlete of the year. PHOTO | VALERY HACHE | AFP
Olympic marathon champion and World Marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge is the 2019 World Athletics Male Athlete of the year.
Kipchoge, 35, beat four other contestants to retain the award during the World Athletics gala in Monaco on Saturday night.
Kipchoge, who was not at the gala but accepted the accolade in a telecast interview, won the London Marathon in April in a course record of 2:02:37, before making history as the first man to run a marathon under two honours when he completed the Ïneos 1:59 Challenge in Vienna, Austria in 1:59:40.2 on October 12 this year.
Kipchoge beat World Cross Country and World 10,000m champion Joshua Cheptegei from Uganda, World 200m champion Noah Lyles (USA), World 400m hurdles champion Karsten Warholm (Norway) and World pole vault champion Sam Kendricks (USA).
“It was really a special moment for me becoming the first human being to run under two hours. I am happy to inspire a whole generation,” said Kipchoge.
World 800m record holder David Rudisha was the first Kenyan to win the accolade in 2010.
The 400m hurdler Dalilah Muhammad from USA won the Female Athlete of the Year Award pipping Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei, Jamaican Shelly Ann Fraser and Sifa Hassan of the Netherlands.
She broke world record with 52.20 at the US Championships before improving her own world record to win the world 400m hurdles title in 52.16 in Doha. She went ahead to win the world 4x400m title with the USA team.
Kosgei won this year’s Chicago Marathon in a World Record time of 2:14:04 (mixed race) on October 13. Kosgei also won the London Marathon in 2:18:20.
Kosgei also ran a world-leading 1:05:28 for the half marathon at Bahrain Night Half Marathon, Manama on March 15 and 1:04:28 on a downhill course in South Shields Great North Run, South Shields, England on September 8.
Kenyan-based Colm O’Connell from Ireland, who coaches Rudisha, won the Coaching Achievement.