Unlimited decorated icon, Kipchoge, of 2019

Monday, December 16th, 2019 00:00 |
Eliud Kipchoge on his way to breaking the under two hour barrier in a marathon in Vienna, Austria in October. INSET: Kipchoge after receiving an honorary degree from UK’s Exeter University on Saturday. Photo/COURTESY/FILE

Eliud Kipchoge is emerging to be the most decorated athlete in 2019.

Just a week after being awarded an honorary degree by Laikipia University in his home country of Kenya, the marathon record-holder was confered with another one, a  Doctorate Degree of Laws by the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom last weekend.

Before the dust could settle, he was voted the BBC Sports Personality’s World Sports Star of The Year a few hours later for his heroics in Vienna, Austria in October this year when he became the first man to run a marathon under two hours.

The 35-year-old, completed 42.2km in 1:59.40 in the event dubbed Ineos 1:59 Challenge, living true to his ‘No Human is Limited’ mantra. 

Six months before his Vienna feat, Kipchoge had won the London Marathon for a fourth time. 

Topping an online public vote, the marathon runner beat off competition from American gymnast Simone Biles, South Africa’s Rugby World Cup-winning captain Siya Kolisi, Australian cricketer Steve Smith, American golfer Tiger Woods and USA female footballer Megan Rapinoe. 

Kipchoge was awarded the Doctorate Degree following an invitation by the University Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Professor Sir Steve Smith.

“It gives me great pleasure to write to inform you that the Council and Senate of the University of Exeter would like to recognise your outstanding achievements in the field of sports by conferring upon you an Honorary Doctorate of Laws,” read the letter to Kipchoge.

In accepting the award, Kipchoge said: “It is a sign of hard work, determination, focus and above having an infinite mind. We live in a great world and we must dare think and do the unthinkable which will inspire the human family on their duties.” 

The award comes a week after Laikipia University honoured the Olympic champion with another Doctorate Degree in Science during its seventh graduation ceremony held on December 6.

He was also awarded a State award, Elder of the Golden Heart (EGH) by President Uhuru Kenyatta during the Mashujaa Day festivities in October before receiving the World Athletics Male Athlete of the Year Award for a second straight time in Monaco last month. 

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