Top athletes to be feted at AK Golden Gala


Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya crosses the finish line to win the Berlin Marathon on September 24, 2017 ...
Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya crosses the finish line to win the Berlin Marathon on September 24, 2017 in Berlin.Image/AFP .

The finest athletes on the land will battle it out for top honours at the Athletics Kenya (AK) Golden Gala awards on Thursday as the federation seeks to reward top athletes who stood out during the 2017 season.

The Athlete of the Year category features a stellar cast of Olympic and World champions as well as some record-breakers who excelled in various international races.

Last year’s female winner Vivian Cheruiyot failed to make the nominees list having endured a quiet season since transitioning from track to road racing but the male winner Eliud Kipchoge is in frame to hold on to his title.

Kipchoge became the fastest marathoner earlier this year in Monza, Italy after clocking unofficial world record (WR) of 2:0025 during the Breaking2 a project by Nike that was attempting to break the two-hour marathon barrier.

He also underlined his status as the world’s best long-distance runner when he won this year’s Berlin Marathon in September although his stab at the world record fell short yet again.

The Olympic champion will face stiff competition from his Global Sports Communication teammate Geoffrey Kirui who made history when he became the first athlete to win the Boston Marathon and World Championships title in the same season.

Also in contention for the coveted award will be Olympic 3,000m steeplechase title holder, Conseslous Kipruto who upgraded his 2015 Beijing World Championships silver medal to gold during the London Championships in August.

World 1500m champion Elijah Managoi and World 10,000m silver medallist Paul Tanui are also in the category shortlist.

The female award presents a tough choice but Olympic champion Faith Chepngetich tops the list having won the World 1500m title and also has a Diamond League trophy to her name this season.

She will battle it out with two phenomenal road race athletes who broke world records led by three-time Virgin Money London Marathon champion Mary Keitany who set a new women’s only WR of 2 hours 17 minutes and 1 second and also finished second at New York City Marathon.

The other is Joyciline Jepkosgei who broke the world record for a second time this year after clocking 1:04:51 during the Trinidad Alfonso Valencia Half -Marathon, shedding off just a second from her Praque record.

Rio Olympics 5,000m silver Hellen Obiri is another hot choice for the award having won gold at the World Championships, broke the national record in Rome in June and creamed her season with a maiden Diamond League Series trophy. She was nominated for the IAAF Athlete of the Year Award.

IAAF World Cross Country champion Irene Cheptai was recognised for retaining her title this year while former holder Agnes Tirop made it to the list after winning a bronze medal in the 10,000m in London.

The nominations were as follows:

2017 Athlete of the Year

Male

1. Geoffrey Kirui

2. Elijah Manangoi

3. Conseslus Kipruto

4. Eliud Kipchoge

5. Paul Tanui 

Female

1. Faith Chepngetich

2. Hellen Obiri

3. Edna Kiplagat

4. Mary Keitany

5. Joyciline Jepkosgei

6. Irene Cheptai

6. Agnes Tirop

 Young Athlete of the Year

Male

1. Leonard Bett

2. George Manangoi

3. Moitalel Mpoke

4. Zakayo Edward

5. Dominic Samson

6. Stanley Mburu

7. Nicholas Kipkorir

9. John Mwaniki

10. John Mwangi Waweru

11. Edwin Kiplagat Bett

12. Solomon Lekuta

Female

1. Immaculate Chepkirui

2. Caren Chebet

3. Jackline Wambui

4. Mary Moraa

5. Lydia Jeruto

6. Edinah Jebitok

7. Joyline Cherotich

8. Anne Mwongeli

9. Nelly chepkemei

Middle Distance

Male

1. Elijah Manangoi  

2. Kipyegon Bett

3. Timothy Cheruiyot

Female

Faith Chepngetich

Joyline Cherotich

Long distance

Male

1. Conseslus Kipruto

2. Paul Tanui

3. Nicholas Kipkorir 

Road Running

Male

1. Geoffrey Kirui

2. Eliud Kipchoge

3. Daniel Wanjiru

4. Wilson Kipsang

5. Geoffrey Kamworor

6. Abel Kirui

7. Paul Lonyangata 

Female

1. Edna Kiplagat

2. Mary Keitany

3. Joyline Jepkosgei

4. Purity Rionoripo

5. Vivian Cheruiyot

6. Gladys Cherono 

Cross Country

Male

1. Geoffrey Kamworor

2. Leonard Barsaton

3. Relay Team

4. Richard Kimunyan 

Female

1.    Irene Cheptai  

2.    Alice Aprot

3.    Lilian Kasait

4.    Cellphine Chespol

2017 Athlete of the Year

Male

1. Geoffrey Kirui

2. Elijah Manangoi

3. Conseslus Kipruto

4. Eliud Kipchoge

5. Paul Tanui

Female

1. Faith Chepngetich

2. Hellen Obiri

3. Edna Kiplagat

4. Mary Keitany

5. Joyciline Jepkosgei

6. Irene Cheptai

6. Agnes Tirop 

Young Athlete of the Year

Male

1. Leonard Bett

2. George Manangoi

3. Moitalel Mpoke

4. Zakayo Edward 

5. Dominic Samson

6. Stanley Mburu

7. Nicholas Kipkorir

9. John Mwaniki

10. John Mwangi Waweru

11. Edwin Kiplagat Bett

12. Solomon Lekuta

Female

1. Immaculate Chepkirui

2. Caren Chebet

3. Jackline Wambui

4. Mary Moraa

5. Lydia Jeruto

6. Edinah Jebitok

7. Joyline Cherotich

8. Anne Mwongeli

9. Nelly chepkemei

Middle Distance

Male

1. Elijah Manangoi

2. Kipyegon Bett

3. Timothy Cheruiyot

Faith Chepngetich

Joyline Cherotich

Long distance

Male

1. Conseslus Kipruto

2. Paul Tanui

3. Nicholas Kipkorir 

Road Running

Male

1. Geoffrey Kirui

2. Eliud Kipchoge

3. Daniel Wanjiru

4. Wilson Kipsang

5. Geoffrey Kamworor

6. Abel Kirui

7. Paul Lonyangata 

Female

1. Edna Kiplagat

2. Mary Keitany

3. Joyline Jepkosgei

4. Purity Rionoripo

5. Vivian Cheruiyot:

6. Gladys Cherono 

Cross Country

Male

1. Geoffrey Kamworor:

2. Leonard Barsaton

3. Relay Team

4. Richard Kimunyan

Female

1.    Irene Cheptai

2.    Alice Aprot

3.    Lilian Kasait

4.    Cellphine Chespol

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