Sports / Track and field

Beijing champions lead Kenya nomination list for best athlete

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-12-05 09:55

NAIROBI - All the seven gold medalists at the Beijing World Championships have been shortlisted for Kenya best athlete of the year award.

However, critics are questioning the need for the celebration in a year when the country has been under scrutiny for its role in covering up doping, which has seen its top officials suspended by the IAAF Ethics Committee.

But Athletics Kenya (AK) officials remained adamant: they will go along and celebrate their best year in the sport, unlike IAAF, which canceled its gala in the wake of the doping scandal.

"The 2015 Athletics Kenya Golden Gala is still on as scheduled. The organizing committee has concluded the nomination process and plans to celebrate a roaring year for Kenyan runners are here," AK president Jackson Tuwei said Friday.

The list consists of candidates who have been world champions and past winners led by Olympic and world champions David Rudisha (800m), Ezekiel Kemboi (3,000mS), Asbel Kiprop (1,500m), Julius Yego (javelin) and Nicholas Bett (400mH), all eyeing the male athlete of the year award.

The female athlete title will be contested by World Cross champion Agnes Jebet (senior 8km), world champions Vivian Cheruiyot (10,000m) and Hyvin Kiyeng (3,000m) and Beijing Worlds silver medalists, Faith Chepng'etich (1,500m) and Helah Kirop (marathon).

"Our athletes have worked hard to bring glory, pride and honor to the nation. It is therefore only fair to appreciate them. We can not forget for the first time in our decorated history in the sport. Kenya topped the world at the Beijing World Championships," said Tuwei.

"Besides, our runners also reaped impressive results at the World Cross Country (Nanjing, China), IAAF World Youth Championships, CAA Africa Youth and East Africa championships, prestigious international meetings on track, field and road races as well as our local cross and track series," added the AK chief.

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