As the Old Holy Book says…..there is time for everything….time to plant and time to harvest…..time to cry and time to laugh……
These encouraging verses will play out tomorrow when the Athletics community gathers in Nairobi with the singular objective of toasting the superlative performance by individual athletes during the 2015 sporting calendar.
Glasses will chime as the best receive accolades for flying the country’s flag high in various competition this year during the 5th Athletics Kenya Golden Gala to be held at Safari Park Hotel starting at 18.30 to 22.30 pm after the rite were skipped last year.
“The finest will be known during the red carpet ceremony that seek to reward Kenya’s top performing athletes on the night where the Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi will be the chief Guest,” said a member of the event Local Organizing Committee.
During occasion, Six of the country’s most celebrated athletes will be battling it out for Male’s top award. They includes World champions Julius Yego (Javelin), Ezekiel Kemboi (3,000m Steeplechase), Nicholas Bett (400m Hurdles), Asbel Kiprop (1,500m), David Rudisha (800m) and World Cross Country Champion and World 10,000m Silver medalist Geoffrey Kamworor.
The self-made Yego broke the National record four times besides setting a new IAAF Diamond League record on his way to winning the World title, becoming the first Kenyan to ever win such title in the Field event.
The champion started the season with victory at the IAAF Challenge in Ostrava with a national record throw of 86.88, finished second at Roma Diamond League with an improved performance of 87.71metres before claiming his maiden Diamond League win in Birmingham with a record-breaking 91.39metres.
Yego later went for the World title in Beijing during the 15th IAAF World Championships in a massive throw of 92.72m that counted for the new African record, and the third all-time best throw in history of the Javelin.
On the other hand, the never fading Ezekiel Kemboi asserted his status as the undisputable Monarch of steeplechase, chalking an unprecedented fourth consecutive victory at the Worlds after the 2009 Berlin, 2011 Daegu and 2013 Moscow while stylish Nicholas Bett astonished many when he won the 400m hurdles, the first World title by Kenyan in the sprints.
Asbel Kiprop, also the 2008 Olympic champion, ran the third fastest time in history in 1,500m when he won in Monaco in 3:26.69, missing the world record of 3:26.00 by Hicham El Guerrouj by a whisker. He went on to complete a hat trick by claiming the World title for the third time over the distant in Beijing.
Competing for the Male Athlete of The Year against Yego, Kemboi, Bett and Kiprop is David Rudisha. The world record holder made a resounding come-back to reclaim his 800m world title while Kamworor performance revolve across the board, winning the World Cross country a silver title in 10,000metres in the World Championships.
Whereas it may seem easy to pick the Male stand-out, it will be interesting to see whether Berlin Marathon champion Glady Cherono and World Cross Country queen Agnes Jebet have what it takes to edge out four other nominees for the Female Athlete of the Year Award.
Cherono has the best all time average after she finished second in 2:20:03 in Dubai Marathon on her debut over the distance before winning in Berlin with personal best of 2:19:25.
Others in the category are Vivian Cheruiyot, who made a great return from maternity break to reclaim her World 10,000m, World champion Hyvin Kiyeng (3,000m steeplechase) and World silver medalists Hela Kiprop (marathon) and Eunice Sum (800m).
Kumari taki, who won the World Youth, Africa Youth and Commonwealth Youth 1,500m titles, World and Africa Youth 2,000m steeplechase champion Vincent Kipyegon and World Youth 800m gold medalist Willy Tarbei are some of the nominees for the Young Athlete of the Year-Male Accolade.
Also in the frontline are World Youth 3,000m Champion Richard Yator and Africa Youth triple jump champion Vincent Kilel.
Damaris Akoth who won Kenya silver in 100m at the Africa Youth, World Youth 2,000m steeplechase champion Celliphine Chespol, World Youth 3,000 silver medalist Emily Chebet and World 2,000m steeplechase silver medalist Sandra Chebet, who is also the Africa champion are in the Lady’s ring.
Other categories to be awarded are Long Distance Athlete, Field Athlete and Cross Country Award of the year for both Men and Women during the ceremony dubbed ‘On Top of the World 2015.’
Two recipients will be bestowed with the Outstanding Performance of the Year (Male and Female) with one being recognized for the Come-back Athlete of the Year. A dozen legends of the past will also be indicted into the Hall of Fame.
2015 Gala Final nominees;
- Athlete of the Year
Julius Yego, Ezekiel Kemboi, Nicholas Bett, Asbel Kiprop, David Rudisha, Geoffrey Kamworor
Agnes Jebet, Vivian Cheruiyot, Hyvin Kiyeng, Hela Kiprop, Eunice Sum, Gladys Cherono
- Young Athlete of the –
Kumari Taki, Vincent Kipyegon, Willy Tarbei, Vincent Kilel, Richard Yator
Celliphine Chespol, Emily Chebet, Sandra Chebet, Damaris Akoth
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