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Chepngetich and Cheruiyot bag Diamond League awards

ATHLETICS By Stephen Rutto | December 30th 2021 | 2 min read
Timothy Cheruiyot, of Kenya, competes in the final of the men's 1,500-meters at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021, in Tokyo. [AP Photo]

1500m big shots; two-time Olympic champion Faith Chepngetich and world champion Timothy Cheruiyot are ending the stellar 2021 on a high note.

The duo has been announced as the 2021 winners of the Diamond League awards for the most consistent female and male distance athletes of the year.

“In 2021, the Wanda Diamond League is awarding a prize to honour those athletes who consistently delivered excellent performances throughout the summer season,” Wanda Diamond League announced.

Chepngetich had a successful 2021, defending her 1500m Olympic title in Tokyo and her winning streaks at the one-day circuits has paid off.

She crowned the fruitful season with victory in the Diamond League finals in Zurich, winning the Diamond Trophy for the first time since she became a mother in 2018.

Her win in Zurich didn’t come easy. Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands put up a brave fight in the final 300m stretch, but Chepngetich had saved enough gas for the kick and went ahead to win in 3:58.33.

According to a statement from Wanda Diamond League, Chepngetich was awarded for proving to be the most consistent middle and long distance performer of the season, with victories in Doha and Eugene.

She is also clinching the award for setting a Kenyan record in Monaco and her astonishing battle with Sifan Hassan in Florence.

President Uhuru Kenyatta honoured Chepngetich and Olympic marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir with the Order of the Grand Warrior medals on December 12, for their exemplary performances.

Cheruiyot who won silver for Kenya at the 2020 Olympic Games also powered to victory at the Diamond League finals.

The rivalry between world champion Cheruiyot and Olympic champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen of Norway played out in Zurich, during the finals in September.

In Tokyo, Ingebrigtsen beat Cheruiyot and the Zurich Diamond League offered the Kenyan track star the opportunity for revenge, and after an epic sprint in the homestretch, Cheruiyot held off the Norwegian in a 3:31.37 win.

“Kenyan legend Timothy Cheruiyot may have missed out on Olympic gold this year, but he continued to dominate in the Diamond League. The 1500m star picked up four wins, including a PB of 3:28.28 in Monaco, as he charged to an emphatic defence of his 2019 title and secured a fourth successive Diamond Trophy,” Wanda Diamond League said in a statement.

A joyous Cheruiyot took to social media on Tuesday night to react to the news.

In August, HE was promoted to the rank of Senior Superintendent of Prisons after his performance in Tokyo.

Before the Tokyo Games, Cheruiyot was a Chief Inspector at the Prisons Service.

Wanda Diamond League said Chepngetich, Cheruiyot and eight other winners from different events will walk home with Sh2.2 million.

“Each winner will receive US$20,000 in prize money,” the statement read in part.

The winners are decided using a points system.

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