AK rallies Kenyans to vote for Kipchoge and co.

Gilbert Kiprotich

Athletics Kenya (AK) president Jackson Tuwei has urged Kenyans to vote overwhelmingly for their star compatriots shortlisted for the IAAF World Athlete of the Year Awards.

On Monday, world athletics governing body IAAF published a shortlist of 11 athletes in both the male and female categories to vie for the annual award.

World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge and world 1500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot made the shortlist for the Male World Athlete of the Year.

The trio of world 3000m steeplechase record holder Beatrice Chepkoech, world 5000m champion Hellen Obiri and world marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei made the cut for the corresponding female award.

“I want to congratulate all our athletes who have been nominated for the IAAF award. I urge Kenyans and all our friends in the world to vote for these athletes so that they can win the award. Having done well in their respective events it is only fair that we vote for each of them,” said Tuwei.

Kipchoge who is fresh from becoming the first human being to finish a marathon race in under two hours will be looking to win the gong for a second consecutive year to become the fourth athlete to achieve that feat after Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia and Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco.

On the other hand, Chepkoech, Kosgei and Obiri will be on the hunt for Kenya’s first award since its inception in 1988.

Chepkoech was among the five finalists for last year’s award which was finally won by Caterine Ibarguen of Colombia.

The winners of this year’s awards will be announced at the World Athletics Awards on November 23 in Monaco, France.

Five of the 11 athletes will, however, make the final shortlist in both categories depending on the votes cast with the voting process having already opened.

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. Individual graphics for each nominee will be posted on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram this week; a ‘like’ on Facebook and Instagram or a retweet on Twitter will count as one vote.

The IAAF Council’s vote will count for 50% of the result, while the IAAF Family’s votes and the public votes will each count for 25% of the final result.

Voting for the Male World Athlete of the Year closes on November 4 while for their female counterparts the voting closes on November 5.

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