Kosgei sees the positives despite not bagging World Athlete award
World women’s marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei has no hard feelings for missing the World Athletics Female Athlete of The Year Award and is instead taking positives from what has been a brilliant 2019 season, terming her fete “victory in itself.’’
Kosgei was among the five finalists in the awards gala held in Monaco on Saturday but despite a stellar year where she won the London Marathon before breaking the world record in Chicago last month, she lost the coveted award to American world 400m hurdles champion Dalilah Muhammad.
The athlete, who was accompanied by her husband Mathew at the ceremony, said coming close to such an award was not something she dreamed of while showering praise on male world record holder Eliud Kipchoge who won the men’s prize for a second straight year.
“My husband was with me in Monaco. He reminded the journey we have had, how far we have come and why being there was a victory in itself. I congratulate Kipchoge because he keeps scaling new heights,” she said.
“Athletes like Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce, have been here for long and conquered the world. Being named as a finalist with her is not something I ever imagined. It was humbling for me,” added Kosgei, who holds the world record of 2:14:04.
Having tasted victory and come close in the gala, the 25-year-old, who smashed the record set by Briton Paula Radcliffe in London 16 years ago by a massive 81 seconds, is now more motivated than ever.
“For a school dropout like myself, there is a feeling that you are not supposed to mingle and interact with some people. But with sports, there is that unity, togetherness and equality that comes with it.
I feel happy for this far God has brought me,” said the mother of twins. Her decision to turn down Athletics Kenya’s invitation to take part in the World Championships in Doha, Qatar to attempt a world record in Chicago paid off but she insists the best is yet to come.
“I have started light training for the new season. I have discussed with my coach and management and we have agreed Olympics Games in Tokyo, Japan remains the main thing for 2020,” said the athlete, who comes from a family of six raised by a single mother in Elgeyo-Marakwet County.