Kipchoge Crowned The 2018 IAAF Male Athlete Of The Year

Dec 04 - by Mutwiri Mutuota for sportpesa news

World marathon record holder becomes the second Kenyan in history of the annual fete to win the top recognition in cementing his status as the greatest of all time following his jaw-dropping performance in Berlin

Kenyan athlete Eliud Kipchoge reacts after receing the Male athlete of the year award during the IAAF athlete of the year awards ceremony, on December 4, 2018 in Monaco. PHOTO/AFP

  • The queen of parallel jumps, Catherine Ibaguen was named the IAAF Female Athlete of the Year Award
  • World Under 20 record holder and Tampere 2018 IAAF World Under 20s titleholder, Mondo Duplantis was named the 2018 Male Rising Star Award winner with Sydney McLaughlin of USA, who excelled in the 200m, 400m and 400m Hurdles races in Finland going home with the corresponding the Female Rising Star Award
  • Kipchoge, 33, followed in the footsteps of fellow Olympic champion and men 800m record holder, David Lekuta Rudisha, who scaled the heights in 2010 following a barnstorming season where he set the staggering 2:01:39 standard in the ultimate race.

MONACO, Principality of Monaco- Olympic champion and world marathon record holder, Eliud Kipchoge, crowned his memorable 2018 by becoming the second Kenyan in history to be crowned the IAAF Male Athlete of the Year on Tuesday night at the glittering World Gala in Monaco.

The queen of parallel jumps, Catherine Ibaguen was named the IAAF Female Athlete of the Year Award.

The Colombian completed a historic long jump/triple jump at the IAAF Diamond League and Continental Cup double double, and ended the year with the Triple jump world lead to become the first athlete from her nation to receive the coveted accolade as well.

World Under 20 record holder and Tampere 2018 IAAF World Under 20s titleholder, Mondo Duplantis was named the 2018 Male Rising Star Award winner with Sydney McLaughlin of USA, who excelled in the 200m, 400m and 400m Hurdles races in Finland going home with the corresponding the Female Rising Star Award. 

Kenyans Rhonex Kipruto and Cellephine Chespol who struck gold in Tampere were the nominees from Kenyan for the junior awards.

The Coaching Achievement Award went to American distance sage Dr. Joe Vigil, whose disciples include US distance running stars, Deena Kastor and Meb Keflezighi to name just two.

Evelyn Lopez, whose dedication to developing sport and athletics has been unparalleled having volunteered in for 44 years, received the Woman of the Year 2018 gong. 

Stunning shot

Felix Sanchez Arrazola won the Photo of the Year Award for 2018 for the stunning shot of Ethiopian Selemon Barega kneeling and covered in mud after winning the Cross Internacional Juan Muguerza in Spain.

Legendary Weltklasse Zurich Diamond League Meeting Director, Andreas Brugger was named the 2018 President’s Award winner, recognising a lifetime dedicated to promoting and developing athletics and turning a local event into a show-stopping affair in the annual World Athletics Series calendar.

Kipchoge, 33, followed in the footsteps of fellow Olympic champion and men 800m record holder, David Lekuta Rudisha, who scaled the heights in 2010 following a barnstorming season where he set the staggering 2:01:39 standard in the ultimate race.

The honour at the awards that are athletics answer of the Oscars for film, Grammys for music and FIFA World/Ballon D’Or for football, rubber-stamped Kipchoge’s reputation as the Greatest of All Time in the marathon, a label that gained currency on September 16 when he set the world alight at the BMW Berlin World Marathon.

In April, Kipchoge gave the planet a glimpse of his imperious powers when he came to within eight seconds of the previous standard of 2:02:57 ran at the same course by countryman, Dennis Kimetto, at the Virgin Money London Marathon.

"I watched the race one week after Berlin and internalised it and I'm now okay. I'm happy to be here after breaking a world record and making history in Berlin," the three-time Berlin and London winner stated.


“This award means so much to me,” he added as he hailed his family, coach, Patrick Sang, fellow Kenyans and his sponsors Nike among others on the night he scaled yet another peak in his unbelievable career.

The distance running superstar, who finally won Olympic gold in Rio 2016 after bronze in Athens 2004 and silver in Beijing 2008 during his distinguished track career over 5000m, gave a rare unfettered access of what he is all about in a ground breaking series you can relieve here, here and here.

Christian Coleman (United States), Armand Duplantis (Sweden), Kevin Mayer (France) and Abderrahman Samba (Qatar) were the other final nominees from the long list of 10 published by the IAAF last month.

Astonishing performance

Steeplechase world record holder, Beatrice Chepkoech was the other Kenyan, who made the final shortlist of the Female Athlete of the Year but was edged to the prize by Ibaguen.

"I'm happy to be here, it's just like being in my home ground since I broke the world record here," Chepkoech stated as she stood to receive a plaque for breaking the world record.

Kipchoge has also been honoured as the UN Person of the Year as well as the AIMS Male Marathoner of the Year prior to being declared the finest male athlete on the planet in 2018.

He stood out for his astonishing performance in Berlin where he posted the biggest improvement on a men’s marathon world record since 1967 and on Tuesday night, he also went on stage to receive special recognition gifted to athletes who set new standards in their events for the season.

“This event was established almost 35 years ago and since then, this institution has spent more than USD34m to support the activities of the foundation that continues to pursue its mission even in difficult times.

“I’m so pleased the Principality can contribute in its own way to the development of the sport. It represents a great source of pride and satisfaction to us here at the Principality,” the ruler of Monaco, His Serene Highness Prince Albert II noted in part his brief remarks.

He hosts the annual IAAF gala as the president of the International Athletics Federation, the organisation that aims at maintaining a rich legacy in the most popular sport at the Olympics and beyond. 

“It’s been another phenomenal year in our sports. This is the time of the year where all organisations celebrate the end of their years. The only reason we are here is because of you athletes.

“Tonight is our way of celebrating who you are, what you have achieved and recognising what you have done a jaw-dropping season. Your commitment to athletics is what drives us in the sport,” IAAF president Sebastian Coe added in his remarks.