World record holder Kosgei among finalists for top IAAF Award

Wednesday, November 13th, 2019 04:07 |
Brigid Kosgei points at the clock after she set a new women’s marathon record at the Chicago Marathon last month.

Kenya will have two athletes on the podium during the 2019 World Athletics Awards gala after women world marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei was named among the five finalists for Female World Athlete of the Year yesterday.

It was no surprise when Kosgei made the list given that she has had a stellar 2019 season which saw her begin with winning the London Marathon in April, running a world-leading 1:05:28 in a half marathon and 1:04:28 on a downhill course before smashing Briton Paul Radcliffe’s 16-year record by a massive 81 seconds when she won the Chicago Marathon in 2:14:04 last month.

Kosgei joins fellow world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge in the final 10 (five men and as many women) who will contest the prestigious award and if crowned, she will become the first Kenyan woman to do so after Vivian Cheruiyot famously missed out on the 2011 award which went to Australian Sally Pearson, despite winning two world titles in 5,000m and 10,000m in Daegu, South Korea that year.

However, two other Kenyan women in world 3,000 metres steeplechase champion and 2019 IAAF Diamond League Trophy winner Beatrice Chepkoech and Hellen Obiri, world champion in the 5,000 metres and in cross-country, who were in the provisional list of 11, failed to make the top five.

Kosgei will now battle it out with Ethiopian-born Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan, who won two world titles at the Doha Worlds (1,500m and 10,000m) as well as the Diamond League titles in 1,500m and 5,000m while also breaking the world mile record with 4:12.33 in Monaco.

Jamaican sprint queen Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who returned from maternity leave to win 100m and 4x100m titles in Doha, world triple jump champion Yulimar Rojas from Venezuela and American Dalilah Muhammad, winner of the world 400m hurdles and 4x400m titles, are the other finalists. The 2019 World Athletics Awards gala will take place on November 23 in Monaco.

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