Olympic Marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge and London Marathon winner Mary Keitany were on Friday crowned the male and female winners of the 2017 Association of International Marathon and Distance Races (AIMS) awards held in Athens, Greece.
The two Kenyan athletes, who have had a successful season, were voted by AIMS members representing 435 world leading races from 114 countries.
Kipchoge scooped the award after running the fastest time in May a sub two hour Nike project that saw him run 2:00:25 in Monza, Italy.
Kipchoge, who is winning the award for the third time, also won the Berlin Marathon in September in a world’s leading time of 2:03:32.
The Kaptagat-based athlete has had a successful career since moving from the track and won the country its second marathon gold medal in last year's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Keitany. who is one of the best female marathoners, won the title for the fifth year beating Rose Chelimo who represents Bahrain.
Chelimo, who trains in Kapsabet, was second in Boston Marathon this year, before winning gold in the marathon in August's World Championship held in London.
Keitany received the AIMS World’s Fastest Time Award in 2011 in recognition of the 1:05:50 she ran in the Ras al Khaimah Half Marathon, while her outstanding form in 2009 and 2011 won her the ‘AIMS/ASICS World Athlete of the Year Award’ in both years.
Speaking on phone to Nation Sport from Athens, where she was watching Athens Marathon on Sunday, Keitany said that she is happy to clinch the award after an impressive season.
“I feel honoured to be named the best female athlete of the year after a stellar year. I must say I ended my season well and I’m looking forward to a better 2018,” said Keitany.
The athlete added that she is targeting to run in atleast two marathon majors next year.
“I still have a lot to do in marathon races and I’m looking forward to at least run in two major races but I don’t have much to say because we have to plan with the management,” said the Iten-based athlete.
Keitany has been invited for the IAAF gala awards in Monaco next Monday and is hoping to one day be feted.
Keitany broke the World Record at the London Marathon in April. lowering Paula Radcliffe’s time by 41 seconds.
Last week, she was placed second at the New York Marathon behind American Shalane Flanagan.