Kenyans listed

Vi­vian, Kip­choge, Cons­es­lus and Rud­isha land nom­i­na­tion for World Ath­lete of the Year

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports - BY MUIGAI KIGURU @muigaikig­uru

Vi­vian Cheruiyot cel­e­brates after win­ning the 5,000m gold dur­ing the 2016 Rio Olympics on Au­gust 19. Olympic cham­pi­ons Vi­vian Cheruiyot and Eliud Kip­choge have ex­pressed their grat­i­tude after be­ing nom­i­nated among 20 athletes for the 2016 World Athletes of the Year Award.

The two are joined by for­mer win­ner and Olympic cham­pion David Rud­isha ( 800m) and his 3000m steeple­chase coun­ter­part Cons­es­lus Kipruto.

“It is such a nice feel­ing to be nom­i­nated. It shows I am among the best athletes in the world,” said Cheruiyot, who missed on the 2011 crown de­spite win­ning the dou­ble at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu.

“This is surely an in­spi­ra­tion go­ing for­ward and it comes just after a week after I started my prepa­ra­tions to­wards the 2017 World Championships in Lon­don.”

Cheruiyot is the only Kenyan fe­male in the women’s list of 10 after win­ning Kenya’s first Olympics 5000m ti­tle in Brazil and set­ting a new na­tional record while bag­ging sil­ver in the 10000m.

She re­mained hope­ful that her fans will vote in droves and land her the ti­tle. Kip­choge, who won the marathon ti­tle for Kenya in Rio at­trib­uted his pick to the Olympics suc­cess. Kip­choge’s per­for­mance landed the coun­try sec­ond Olympic Marathon ti­tle since Samuel Wan­jiru in Bei­jing 2008,

“This was all about the per­for­mance es­pe­cially at the Olympics,” said Kip­choge. “It is my hope that my fans will vote in large num­ber. It is also a great morale booster go­ing for­ward.”

Rud­isha, who de­fended his Olympic ti­tle in the 800m in Rio was a re­cip­i­ent of the award in 2010 after break­ing the world record that sea­son. And just like Kip­choge, it will be the first time for Cons­es­lus to ap­pear in the 10-man strong list.

Kip­choge, Cons­es­lus and Rud­isha will bat­tle it out against Ja­maica’s Usain Bolt, who will be go­ing for a record sixth award, Bri­tain’s Mo Farah, who de­fended his dis­tance dou­ble in Rio and South African Wayde van Nierk­erk who shat­tered the 400m record. Cheruiyot has a fa­mil­iar foe on the list in Kenyan-born Bahraini Ruth Je­bet, the Olympics and Di­a­mond League 3000m steeple­chase cham­pion as well as 800m Olympic cham­pion Caster Se­menya South Africa. 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. The IAAF Coun­cil’s vote will count for 50 per­cent of the re­sult, while the IAAF Fam­ily’s votes and the pub­lic votes will each count for 25 per­cent of the fi­nal re­sult.

Vot­ing closes on Novem­ber 1, where three men and three women fi­nal­ists will be an­nounced by the IAAF. The male and fe­male World Athletes of the Year will be an­nounced live on stage at the IAAF Awards Night on Dec 2.

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