Kenya holds her collective breath ahead of IAAF awards

The world athletics governing body IAAF will tomorrow feat the 2018 top performers at a glamours gala night in Monaco.

Kenya will be hoping to bag the prestigious athletics crown in both categories as world record holders Eliud Kipchoge (marathon) and Beatrice Chepkoech (steeplechase) lead the way.

Kipchoge broke the marathon record on September 16 by 1 minute and 18 seconds, the greatest improvement since 1967, to set a new mark of 2 hours, 1 minute and 39 seconds as Chepkoech improved the world steeplechase record by eight seconds running 8:44:32 at the Monaco Diamond League meeting in July.

And as Kenya’s athletics fans wait with bated breath the crowning moments in Monaco, at the 215 IAAF Council meeting, Athletics Kenya president Lt. Gen (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei has termed tomorrow’s event as “the best moment for Kenya”.

“We have taken time since we last won, but this is a great moment for Kenya and if we win the two awards …. It will show how successful the year has been for our athletes,” said  Tuwei, Kenya’s athletics  boss.

David Rudisha, the 800m world record holder last won the Male Athlete of the Year Aaward for Kenya in 2012.

Beatrice Chepkoech of Kenya reacts as she wins in the women’s 3000m steeplechase event of the IAAF Diamond League Shanghai athletics competition, in Shanghai on May 12, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Johannes EISELE

“We had a great program for 2018 and everything went on as we planned; for officials, athletes and everyone .My hope is that the upcoming athletes can see how the two nominated athletes have performed and be their inspiration to perform better,”  added Tuwei.

Kipchoge, the front runner in the men’s award will be up against US World Indoor 60 meters record holder Christian Coleman, Sweden’s pole vault European champion Armand Duplantis, France’s decathlon world record holder Kevin Mayer and Qatari hurdler Abderrahman Samba.

Chepkoech will come up against British sprinter Dina Asher-Smith, Colombian jumper Caterine Ibarguen, sprinter Shauane Miller-Uibo of Bahamas and Belgian heptathlete Nafissatou Thiam.

In this year’s activities, the IAAF has also paid tribute to athletes who have died including Kenya’s world hurdles champion Nicholas Bett and cross country legend Paul Koech.

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