Reigning Olympic marathon champion and world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge has been named the 2019 World Athletics Male Athlete of the Year.
The 35-year-old long-distance runner beat four other finalists to retain the award during the World Athletics Gala held in Monaco, France on Saturday.
Although absent at the event, Kipchoge accepted the accolade in a telecast interview. He won the 2019 London Marathon in April in a course record of 2:02:37 before going on to make history as the first human to run a sub-2-hour marathon when he completed the INEOS 159 Challenge in Vienna, Austria in 1:59:40.2 on October 12.
Kipchoge beat four finalists to lift the award, including World Cross Country and World 10,000m champion Joshua Cheptegei (Uganda), World 400m hurdles champion Karsten Warholm (Norway), World 200m champion Noah Lyles (USA) 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.
The 400m hurdler Dalilah Muhammad from the USA was named the Female Athlete of the Year Award pipping Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei, Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser and Sifa Hassan of the Netherlands.
Winners of this year’s awards are as shown below;
- Male Athlete of the year – Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya)
- Female Athlete of the Year – Dalilah Muhammad (USA)
- President’s Award – The late Vikki Orvice (Journalist-Britain)
- Fair Play Award – Braima Suncar Dabo (Guinea-Bissau)
- Photographer of the Year – Felix Sanchez Arrazola (Spain)
- Coaching Achievement –Brother Colm O’Connell (Ireland/Kenya)
- Woman of the Year – Derartu Tulu (Ethiopia)
- Male Rising Star – Selemon Barega (Ethiopia)
- Female Rising Star – Yaroslava Mahuchikh (Ukraine)
Kipchoge has already revealed he has plans to defend his London Marathon and Olympic Marathon titles next year in London and Tokyo respectively.