World Marathon record holder and Olympic marathon Champion Eliud Kipchoge has been crowned the 2019 World Athletics Male Athlete of the year.
It was all smiles as Kipchoge, 35, beat four other contestants to retain the award during the World Athletics gala in Monaco on Saturday night.
Kipchoge, who was not at the gala but accepted the accolade in a telecast interview, won the London Marathon in April in a course record of 2:02:37 and made history as the first man to run a marathon in under two hours; when he clocked 1:59:40 at the “Ineos 1:59 Challenge” on 12 October in Vienna, Austria.
Kipchoge’s time was not recognised as a world marathon record since it was not a World Athletics-certified and rated course.
The accolade comes just few days after President Uhuru Kenyatta donated a KSh100 million towards the building of a new library in honour of world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge.
Kipchoge beat World Cross Country and World 10,000m champion Joshua Cheptegei from Uganda, World 200m champion Noah Lyles (USA), World 400m hurdles champion Karsten Warholm (Norway) 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.
Following his achievement, Kenyans led by President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga to congratulate the Kenyan legend for his remarkable award.