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SPORTS

Cheruiyot, Cheptegei nominated for Male World Athlete of the Year 2020 award

ATHLETICS By Stephen Rutto | November 3rd 2020
Timothy Cheruiyot in a past training session [COURTESY]

After running a world-leading time of 3:28.45 in 1500m, Timothy Cheruiyot will be battling it out with nine other athletes for the 2020 Male Athlete of the Year award.

The 1500m world champion was yesterday nominated for the World Athletics awards alongside red-hot Ugandans Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo, who also had a splendid season this year.

The World Athletics announced ten nominees for the Male Athlete of the Year ahead of the World Athletics Awards 2020 to be held virtually on Saturday, December 5.

Despite the effects that Covid-19 pandemic has had in sports, including limited races and travel restrictions, a resilient Cheruiyot recorded stunning performances.

He is the only Kenyan in the list of ten men who spectacularly made history in the world of athletics in 2020.

In June, he was beaten by the Ingebrigtsen brothers, Jakob, Henrik and Filip in a 2000m virtual race where the brothers were running in ideal weather in Oslo while Cheruiyot struggled to keep up with them at a higher altitude in Nairobi.

But Cheruiyot promised that he would plot revenge on the Ingebrigtsen brothers after the beating.

And he delivered the promise at the Monaco Diamond League in August.

Cheruiyot blazed to victory, racing a world-leading time of 3:28.45 ahead of the younger of the Ingebrigtsen brothers, Jakob, who finished in a personal best time of 3:28.68.

The athletics body said the list of 10 nominees was selected by an international panel of athletics experts, comprising representatives from all six continental areas of World Athletics.

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“The nominations reflect the remarkable range of exceptional performances that the sport has witnessed this year, despite the challenges that the global Covid-19 pandemic presented,” the World athletics reported.

However, Cheruiyot will be facing a man – Cheptegei of Uganda who shattered two world records in the track and in one road this year alone. Without a doubt Cheptegei appears more decorated.

Cheptegei, also 24, obliterated the 5000m world record in a time of 12:35.36 before demolishing the 10,000m in 26:11.00 and 5km (road) in  12:51.

Uganda's Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei celebrates taking silver after the men's 10,000m athletics event at the 2017 IAAF World Championships at the London Stadium in London on August 4, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV

He was fourth at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships on his debut over the distance.

Cheptegei was born in Kapsewui, Kapchorwa District, Uganda. He is the tenth man in history to hold the 5,000m and 10,000m world records concurrently.

In primary school, Cheptegei first played football and tried out the long jump and triple jump, but switched to running when he discovered his talent in distance running.

Cheptegei’s compatriot Jacob Kiplimo was also listed for the award, making Uganda have two athletes.

Kiplimo won the world half marathon title in a championship record of 58:49.

He also ran a world-leading time of 7:26.64 over 3000m - the fastest time in the world since 2007.

After a smudge of wins this season, Pole vaulter Mondo Duplantis of Sweden made it to the list of nominees.

Duplantis broke the world record in the pole vault twice (6.17m and 6.18m) and produced the highest outdoor vault of all time at 6.15m. He is undefeated in 16 competitions this season.

World champion in 200m Noah Lyles, who is also in the list ran a world-leading 19.76 over the distance and was undefeated in five finals.

The World Athletics said its Council’s vote will count for 50 percent of the result, while the World Athletics Family’s votes and the public votes will each count for 25 percent of the final result.

The World Athletics Council and the World Athletics Family will cast their votes by email, while fans can vote online via the World Athletics’ social media platforms. Individual graphics for each nominee will be posted on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram this week; a ‘like’ on Facebook and Instagram or a retweet on Twitter will count as one vote.

 

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