Kip­choge and Ibar­guen scoop IAAF awards

Gulf Times Sport - - SPORT -

Kenyan marathon mas­ter Eliud Kip­choge and Colom­bian jumper Ca­ter­ine Ibar­guen won the IAAF men and women’s 2018 awards on Tues­day.

Kip­choge set a new marathon world record in Berlin in Septem­ber, smash­ing the pre­vi­ous best by an in­cred­i­ble 78 sec­onds as he clocked 2hr 1min 39sec.

The 34-year-old Olympic cham­pion’s ef­fort was the largest sin­gle im­prove­ment on the marathon world record since Derek Clay­ton im­proved the mark by 2:23 in 1967.

Ac­claimed as the great­est marathon run­ner of the mod­ern era, Kip­choge has dom­i­nated marathon rac­ing since mak­ing his de­but in Ham­burg in 2013 after a suc­cess­ful track ca­reer that saw him win world gold and sil­ver (2003, 2007) in the 5000m and Olympic sil­ver and bronze (2008, 2004) over the same dis­tance.

He has notched up 10 wins from the 11 marathons he has raced, win­ning three times not only in Berlin but also Lon­don, with vic­to­ries in Rio for Olympic gold as well as in Ham­burg, Rot­ter­dam and Chicago.

“This award means a lot to me,” said Kip­choge, cred­it­ing his chil­dren as be­ing his “ig­ni­tion key”.

“It’s a tribute to the hard work that I’ve put in dur­ing my ca­reer.” Kip­choge came ag­o­nis­ingly close to sport­ing im­mor­tal­ity by nearly run­ning the first sub two-hour marathon last year. He missed the myth­i­cal mark by just 25 sec­onds.

But the race con­di­tions at the Nike-spon­sored event were so favourable – Kip­choge ran be­hind a six-man pace­set­ting team and was trailed by a time-keep­ing ve­hi­cle on a rac­ing cir­cuit in Monza, Italy – that the time was not recog­nised by the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Ath­let­ics Fed­er­a­tions (IAAF).

“Go­ing un­der two hours is just 25 sec­onds away,” said Kip­choge in Monaco.

Ibar­guen, also 34, won both hor­i­zon­tal jumps at the Cen­tral Amer­i­can and Caribbean Games, the IAAF Con­ti­nen­tal Cup and at the IAAF Di­a­mond League fi­nals – win­ning the lat­ter two ti­tles in two dif­fer­ent cities within the space of 24 hours.

Swe­den’s 19-year-old pole vaulter Ar­mand Du­plan­tis

won the men’s ris­ing star award after equalling the sec­ond best ever vault with 6.05m at the Euro­pean champs in Berlin in Au­gust.

“Pole vault­ing’s a very strange dis­ci­pline,” said Du­plan­tis.

“All the stars aligned for that one meet.”

Handed the award by France’s Re­naud Lav­il­le­nie, the world record holder with a best of 6.16m, Du­plan­tis was in a play­ful mood.

“I think I can jump higher than you,” he said when asked by Lav­il­le­nie on how high he could go. Amer­i­can Syd­ney McLaugh­lin won the women’s ris­ing star award after set­ting a world ju­nior in­door 400m record of 50.36sec in March.

That was fol­lowed up two months later with an out­door 400m hur­dles mark of 52.75sec – a world ju­nior record and the fastest time recorded this year.


Fe­male ath­lete of the year Ca­ter­ine Ibar­guen and male ath­lete of the year Eliud Kip­choge pose with their awards along­side IAAF pres­i­dent Se­bas­tian Coe (left) and Prince Al­bert II of Monaco.

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