Kenya: Marathon Goat Kipchoge to Battle Steeplechase Champ Bakkali for ‘Best Athlete’ Award

    Nairobi — World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge has been nominated in the final five-man list for the male World Athlete of the Year award.

    The two-time Olympic champion will be battling for the award alongside world and Olympic 3000m steeplechase champion Soufiane El Bakkali, world pole vault champion and record holder Mondo Duplantis, world 200m champion Noah Lyles and world 5000m champion Jakob Ingebrigsten.

    Kipchoge has enjoyed yet another illustrious year, topped off by his 2:01:09 world record set at the Berlin Marathon in September this year.

    He began 2022 in the same fashion he intended to end it by running the fastest time ever by a marathoner on Japanese soil when he clocked 2:02:40 on his way to victory at the Tokyo Marathon.

    Nonetheless, the other four athletes have similarly enjoyed a fruitful year and will be hoping to close the curtain down on their season by being crowned as the best of the best.

    Bakkali is a name known to all Kenyan athletics enthusiast, having made history at last year’s Tokyo Olympics as the first non-Kenyan to clinch the Olympic title.

    The Moroccan followed up on his newfound dominance over the Kenyans when he stormed to the world title in Oregon, claiming the crown from former champion, Conseslus Kipruto.

    Similarly, Ingebrigsten is familiar to Kenyans, having defeated the country’s athletes, such as Jacob Krop, Nicholas Kimeli and Daniel Simiu on his way to the world crown in the men’s 5000m at the World Championships.

    The Norwegian also defeated 2019 World 1500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot to claim the Olympic 1500m title in Tokyo.

    On the other hand, Duplantis has cemented his reputation as a serial winner and record breaker – breaking the world indoor and outdoor record as well as clinching the world, European and Diamond League titles.

    American Lyles underlined his credentials as one of the fastest-rising sprinters, clinching the world 200m title before clinching the Diamond League trophy.

    Fans will be allowed to vote for their preferred candidates whereas the World Athletics Family and Council will be entitled to 50 and 25 per cent respectively of the votes.

    The winner will be announced on December 5.

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