All eyes on Kipchoge as Laures gala goes down tonight in Monaco


Eliud Kipchoge wins the Berlin Marathon (PHOTO/IAAF/Getty Images)
(FILE)Eliud Kipchoge wins the Berlin Marathon (PHOTO/IAAF/Getty Images)

In Summary

  • All  eyes are on World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge, the only Kenyan and African nominee as the prestigious Laureus Sports Awards goes down tonight in Monaco, France.
  • The annual award founded in 2000 is meant to recognize and celebrate the best of 2018 in different disciplines around the globe in the eight individual and team categories.

All  eyes are on World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge, the only Kenyan and African nominee as the prestigious Laureus Sports Awards goes down tonight in Monaco, France.

The annual award founded in 2000 is meant to recognize and celebrate the best of 2018 in different disciplines around the globe in the eight individual and team categories.

Kipchoge, the Olympic champion was nominated for the World Sportsman of the Year award alongside other five candidates including tennis star Novak Djokovic of Serbia, Lewis Hamilton of United Kingdom, Basketball maestro Lebron James of USA and football stars Kylian Mbappe of France and Luka Modric of Croatia.

(FILES) This file photograph taken on October 6, 2017, shows Croatia’s Luka Modric controling the ball during the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualification football match between Croatia and Finland in Rijeka.

Kipchoge is in line for the award after a sensational 2018 where he managed to clinch a third London marathon title in April before once again showing his prowess in the 42km race when he ran a World Record time of two hours, one minute and 39 seconds at the Berlin Marathon in September.

En route to breaking the record, Kipchoge shaved one minute and 20 seconds off compatriot Dennis Kimetto record of 2:02:57 that had stood for four years.

On his partwon his fourth Wimbledon title in 2018 which was also his first Grand Slam victory since the French Open in 2016. He also clinched the US open title.

Tennis - Australian Open - Men's Singles Final - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, January 27, 2019. Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning the match against Spain's Rafael Nadal. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Tennis – Australian Open – Men’s Singles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, January 27, 2019. Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning the match against Spain’s Rafael Nadal. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Lewis Hamilton is also in contention for the award after winning his fifth Formula One title while basketball maestro James Surpassed Michael Jordan’s NBA record of at least 10 points in consecutive games in his 867th match. His streak started in January 2007.

Modric won the Won the FIFA World Cup Golden Ball for best player after propelling Croatia to the finals for the first time. He also played a major role leading Real Madrid to a record 12th UEFA Champions League title and thus subsequently named the UEFA Player of the Year and FIFA’s Best Player of the Year.

Soccer Football - World Cup - Round of 16 - France vs Argentina - Kazan Arena, Kazan, Russia - June 30, 2018 France's Kylian Mbappe celebrates scoring their third goal REUTERS/Michael Dalder
Soccer Football – World Cup – Round of 16 – France vs Argentina – Kazan Arena, Kazan, Russia – June 30, 2018 France’s Kylian Mbappe celebrates scoring their third goal REUTERS/Michael Dalder

Mbappe was part of the French team that bagged the World Cup crown where he became the first teenager to score in a World Cup final since Pele in 1958. He was named the Best Young player after scoring four goals.

Other than representing the whole continent, Kipchoge is also the second male from athletics discipline to make the cut only after Jamaica’s sprinter Usain Bolt who has won the award a record four times in 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2017.

Guests to be attending

A host of guests who have confirmed to be gracing the ceremony includes former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, Didier Deschamps who guided the France national team to World cup glory as well as former players; Cafu, Fabio Capello, Didier Deschamps, Luis Figo, Alessandro Del Piero, Carles Puyol, Mikael Silvestre, Patrick Vieira and Fredi Bobic among others.

Kenyan athletics icon Tegla Lorupe who is also a member of the Laureus Academy will also be present at the event.

Will Kipchoge be second one?

Since the inception of the award, the only Kenyan to have won the prestigious award is the London Marathon champion Vivian Cheruiyot in 2012.

Cheruiyot won the award on the back of winning double gold medals in 5,000m and 10,000m at the 2011 World championships held in Daegu, South Korea. She also clinched the World Cross Country title in the 10km senior race in Spain.

Other categories to be awarded include; World Sportswoman of the Year, World Team of the Year, World Comeback of the Year, World Breakthrough of the Year, World Action Sportsperson of the Year, World Sportsperson of the Year with Disability, and the Sporting Moment of the Year Award.

Each winner receives the Laureus Statuette, crafted by Cartier, with its representation of the striving human form against an engraved representation of the continents.

Tennis - Australian Open - Fourth Round - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, January 20, 2019. Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas reacts during the match against Switzerland’s Roger Federer. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
Tennis – Australian Open – Fourth Round – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, January 20, 2019. Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas reacts during the match against Switzerland’s Roger Federer. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Tennis duo of and Serena Williams are the current holders of the awards World Sportsman and woman of the year respectively. Interestingly, the two won’t be defending their crowns after failing to make the cut in the nomination.

The awards ceremony will be held on Monday evening February 18 at Monte Carlo, Monaco in France

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