David Lekuta Rudisha (right), receives trophy from AG Githu Muigai during AK Gala
Night. [PHOTO: JOHN MUCHUCHA/STANDRAD]
By Erick Ochieng’
Rudisha won the award on Friday night in Nairobi where he dethroned reigning world women 10,000m and 5,000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot from the title.
The diadem comes just a week after Rudisha was awarded the 2012 IAAF Performance of the Year Award in Barcelona.
Rudisha got a standing ovation as he strode to the podium to accept the AK honour accompanied by Maasai dancers and warriors.
“It is such an honour to be named by Athletics Kenya as Kenya’s athlete of the year, it was great leading the Kenyan contingent to the
2012 London Olympics and I can say athletes are doing marvelous things to market this country across the world,” said Rudisha in his acceptance speech.
Rudisha lauded the coaches, AK officials, sponsors and the government for giving Kenyan athletes the support needed to win medals abroad.
He also challenged his fellow athletes not to take the support from different quarters for granted and instead work hard to justify the sponsorships.
Rudisha also presented awards to Kenya’s key athletics sponsors including Nike, Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, Safaricom, Kenya Commercial Bank, the National Bank of Kenya and the Kenya Pipeline.
The ceremony was presided over by the Attorney General Githu Muigai. AK used Sh7million to cater for logistics and prizes at the Golden Gala that entered its third edition this year.
National Bank of Kenya contributed Sh2million, Kenya Pipeline Sh1million while the rest of the prize and logistics amount was availed by the AK.