Olympic Silver Medalists Helen Onsando Obiri and Elijah Motonei Manangoi have been crowned the Sports Persons of the year 2017 after their unparalleled performance during the season.
The duo, who won their respective races during the International Association of Athletics Federation World Championships in London this year, received the coveted trophies on Thursday night during Athletics Kenya Golden Gala held at Panari Hotel in Nairobi.
Obiri and Manangoi had a success season in local and international competitions and won gold medals in 5,000 and 1,500metres that enabled them to trounce their opponents in the colourful festival where Ministry of Sports, Culture and Arts Principal Secretary Kirimi Kaberia was the Chief Guest.
During the occasion, Veteran Ednah Kiplagat and Geoffrey Kirui were awarded the Long Distant Athletes of the Year, beating Eliud Kipchoge and World Marathon Record Holder Mary Keitany who were also eyeing the titles.
World Half Marathon Champion Geoffrey Kamworor and World Cross Country Queen Irene Cheptai received the Male and Female Cross Country Awards trophies following their sparkling show during the IAAF World Championships in Kampala, Uganda this year.
Other athletes who impressed with their victorious international assignments this year include Faith Chepng’etich Kipyegon and Consenslus Kipruto, both Olympic and World Champions in 1,500 and 3,000metres Steeplechase, who were voted Middle Distant and Long Distant Athletes of Year.
Among the juniors, Leonard Kibet, the World U18 2,000metres steeplechase Champion, Karen Chebet, also the reigning U18 World Champion, were crowned the Young Male and Female Athletes of the Year correspondingly.
Other recipients of the 2017 Athletics Kenya Golden Gala Awards included Coach Japhet Kemei from Keringet who was bestowed with the Coach of the Year Trophy after nurturing world conquering juniors and the Late Livingston Kimutai Ng’etich, who was awarded the Athletics Kenya Golden Award posthumously.
The occasion brought together all the 2017 medalists and achievers with the best taking home trophies and other awards.
Last year, marathon great Eliud Kipchoge and Track Star Vivian Cheruiyot won both the Male and Female Athlete of the Year at a similar ceremony.