Africa’s Marathon Man Eliud Kipchoge Named World Male Athlete of the Year

Kenya’s marathon sub-two hour man Eliud Kipchoge was named World Athletics male athlete of the year in Monaco on Saturday at the annual awards ceremony of the sport’s governing body.

Eliud Kipchoge athlete of the year world athletics
Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge, the marathon world record holder, celebrates after a successful attempt to run a marathon in under two hours in Vienna, Austria, October 12, 2019. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

Kipchoge tweeted: “Proud to be named @WorldAthletics Male Athlete of the Year again. It was a truly historic year. #NoHumanIsLimited.”

Kipchoge retained the award thanks to his historical barrier-busting marathon in Vienna in October.

The Kenyan Olympic champion clocked one hour, 59 minutes and 40 seconds over the 42.2km distance, though the record is unofficial because he used rotating pacemakers.

“I’m happy to be the first human being to run under two hours,” said Kipchoge, who also holds the official world record of 2:01:39.

In a video interview (see below) he said he mostly hopes that his accomplishment will inspire others in the “human family”.

Meanwhile, American 400m hurdles world record holder Dalilah Muhammad was named female athlete of the year. She was presented with her award by Prince Albert II of Monaco, husband of former South African Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock (now Princess Charlene).

Muhammad broke her own world mark of 52.16 seconds in winning her speciality at the world championships in Doha in October.

“It’s been an amazing year,” said the 29-year-old. “It’s been a tough year and it’s just come home excellently. I never imagined coming home with this.”

(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Ken Ferris)