Kemboi, Sum get just rewards

Double-Olympic 3000m steeplechase champion Ezekiel Kemboi and world women’s 800m gold medallist Eunice Sum are Athletics Kenya’s male and female athletes of the year.

Eunice Sum and Ezekiel Kemboi taking a sip of Kalenjin sour milk ‘mursik’ after winning AK male and female athlete of the year during AK gal night at Sports club in Eldoret

The duo were crowned on Thursday night at a colourful AK Gala Night at an  Eldoret Sports Club.

The ceremony concluded a three-day athletes seminar.

Kemboi was an outstanding performer in the outgoing season picking a  gold medal at the 14th IAAF world championships in Moscow.

His consistency kept Kenya’s grip on the event intact.

The man becoming better known around the world for his post victory jig, did not disappoint as he marched to the podium performing his familiar dance to receive his award.

In his acceptance speech, he expressed delight that his 13-year track career had been recognised.

“All I can say is this is the work of God.I am very happy with the award and I will continue raising Kenya’s flag,”Kemboi promised.

On her part Sum rejuvenated Kenya’s hopes in the women’s 800m race having been dominated by South Africa’s Caster Semenya and Russian Mariya Savinova.

It was Kenya’s redemption moment captured across the world since no one expected her to floor  defending champion Savinova running on home soil.

The Kenyan not only beat her at the worldshow  but continued to dominate the Diamond League and other global competitions.

“It has taken me hard work and dedication to earn this award. I am very grateful. I am looking forward to representing my country in the future,” Sum said.

The world record award went to Wilson Kipsang who set the new marathon record (2.03.23) at the 2013 Berlin race.

Javelin thrower Julius “You-tube man” Yego won the most outstanding performance and field events award while women’s world  marathon winner Edna Kiplagat scooped the women’s marathon award.

The women’s steeplechase award went to the first Kenyan woman to win world championship  gold Milcah Chemos while the middle distance award went to Asbel Kiprop and Eunice Sum.

Taking the sprinters’ awards were Mike Mokamba and Maurine Chelagat. The most promising athlete award went to javelin thrower Alex Kiprotich with Conseslus Kipruto and Lydia Chepkirui taking the most improved athletes awards.

Cherangany MP Wesley Korir won the service to the community award while veteran coach David Letting scooped the long service award. Coaches Sammy Rono and Charles Ng’eno were crowned the senior and junior coaches of the year respectively.

Paul Tanui and Gladys Cherono won the male and female 10,000m award while 5000m award went to Isaiah Kiplagat and Mercy Cherono.

Also awarded were the gold, silver and bronze medal stars at the world, cross country, world youth, Africa championships, Africa youth and veterans.

By STANLEY MAGUT, The Star

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