- Kipchoge’s 2018 highlights were victory in April’s London Marathon with a time of two hours, four minutes and 17 seconds before he shattered the world record in September.
- Athletics Kenya President Jack Tuwei said Kipchoge’s win will go a long way in cleaning up Kenya’s athletics image that has been somewhat tainted by recent cases of doping.
MONTE CARLO, MONACO
Eliud Kipchoge won’t be celebrating too much when he returns home today after being crowned IAAF Male World Athlete of the Year here on Tuesday night.
The world marathon record holder left Monaco last night already planning more conquests in the 2019 season, but he won’t disclose his plans just yet.
Kipchoge, 34, on Tuesday night became only the second Kenyan athlete to be voted the world’s best after world 800 metres champion David Rudisha earned the accolade in 2010, the year he lowered the two-lap race mark twice.
“I’m a low-key person. I always have a way of celebrating with my family. Don’t expect me to be paraded on top of a car to celebrate my achievements because I consider that an insult,” he told journalists in Monaco, where the annual awards gala was hosted at the Grimaldi Forum, a popular events venue here.
“I always motivate myself, and I’m always motivated to face the next season,” added the Olympic champion who lives like a monk at his training camp in Kaptagat, Elgeyo-Marakwet County, and who has won 10 of his 11 career marathons.
Colombian jumper Caterine Ibaurguen, Kipchoge’s teammate at Dutch management company Global Sports Communication, won the IAAF Female World Athlete of the Year award.
She beat, among other nominees, Kenya’s steeplechase world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech.
The year’s highlights for the Colombian were victories in the long jump and triple jump at the Central American and Caribbean Games and also at the IAAF Continental Cup, an intercontinental competition. She was unbeaten all year in her eight triple jump competitions.
Swedish world under-20 pole-vault record holder Armand Duplantis and American sprinter Sydney McLaughlin, also a world under-20 record holder, were voted the most promising male and female athletes.
Kipchoge’s long-time coach Patrick Sang, himself an Olympic steeplechase medallist, described the Kenyan champion as “a special athlete who wants to leave a legacy”.