World marathon champion Chepng’etich named SJAK Sports Personality of April

Thursday, May 6th, 2021 19:40 |
Ruth Chepngetich with her award in Nairobi yesterday. Photo/PD/AMOS ABUGA

Reigning world marathon champion Ruth Chepng’etich was yesterday named the Sports Personality of the Month for April by sports journalists.

Chepng’etich was all smiles upon receiving the award. Following her victory, Chepng’etich went home with a state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence (AI) DD washing machine worth Sh 92,000 and a personalized trophy.

The win follows her superb performance in the Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon, where she posted a new world record of 1:04:02 hours to beat Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw to second place.

The 26-year-old beat the previous record, set 14 months ago by Ababel Yeshaneh, slashing it by 29 seconds.

Her spirited dash from gun to tape didn’t just wow millions of fans who followed live the proceedings, she was also outstanding throughout the race.

To crown her April success, Chepng’etich beat recent ARC Equator Rally winner Carl “Flash” Tundo, Eliud Kipchoge who won the NN Mission Marathon in Enschede, Holland in a time of 2:04.30 hours and KPA volleyball team’s Libero Sam Juma.

Other nominees floored by Chepng’etich were Meldine Sande who led Kenya Prisons to third position at the CAVB Women’s Club Championship in Tunisia and rugby star Daniel Taabu who scored seven tries for Kenya Sevens at the Emirates Invitational in Dubai.

“It’s always such a great feeling when you know you have beaten the best of the best and you are a cut above the rest.

And it’s unbelievable when you know you have defeated great sportsmen like Tundo who is a multiple Safari Rally winner and Kenya National Rally Champion and Eliud Kipchoge who needs no introduction in marathon running,” beamed the athlete who on September 28, 2019, won the global title during the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, clocking 2:32.43 in very humid conditions.

On her way up, Chepng’etich has remained aggressive and level-headed. She ran the 20th fastest half marathon of all-time at 2019 Bahrain Night Half Marathon in a time of 66:09 (1:06:09).

She also ran 12th fastest half marathon of all-time at 2019 Vodafone Istanbul Half Marathon in a time of 65:30 (1:05:30).

“Of course my big target is the Olympics, that is where all my focus is , I will keep training hard to be on shape for the big event which is fast approaching,” said the athlete who was flanked by national athletics head coach Julius Kirwa.

Chepng’etich joins the growing list of sportsmen and women to have won the coveted title this season.

Other winners are tennis superstar Angela Okutoyi (January), basketballer Tylor Okari Ongwae of Kenya Moran’s (February) and boxer Elly Ajowi (March) in a fairy tale stint that saw him qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.Spain’s secretary for Sport Irene Lozano has echoed LaLiga’s desire that news of players testing positive will not halt plans for training to be gradually stepped up over the next five weeks and for the league to restart in mid June.

She said: ‘We should not dramatise [players testing positive]. We should act as in any other industry that has returned to work.’

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