Glitz, glamour as Elijah Manangoi and Hellen Obiri crowned

Friday December 15 2017

World 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri (left) and World 1500m gold medallist Elijah Manangoi pose for photos with the Athlete of the Year trophies during the Athletics Kenya Golden Gala at Panari Hotel on December 14, 2017. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |

World 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri (left) and World 1500m gold medallist Elijah Manangoi pose for photos with the Athlete of the Year trophies during the Athletics Kenya Golden Gala at Panari Hotel on December 14, 2017. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By AYUMBA AYODI
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World champions Elijah Manangoi and Hellen Obiri are the 2017 Athletes of the Year.

Manangoi, who won the 1,500m title during the World Championships in London in August where Obiri went for the 5,000m crown, were declared winners during the Athletics Kenya Golden Gala on Thursday night at Panari Hotel, Nairobi.

From the gun in the final, the Kenyan team took charge as Manangoi from the inside and Timothy Cheruiyot from the outside squeezed the pack behind their wall. The third Kenyan, Asbel Kiprop, who was going for his fourth World title, went to his typical position marking the back of the pack.

Eventually, it’s Manangoi who won his maiden World title clocking 3:33.61, beating Cheruiyot to second place in 3:33.99. Manangoi might not have won the Diamond League Series but holds the world lead of 3:28.80 from Monaco. He also won in Doha.

Manangoi beat Olympic and World 3,000m steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto and World Marathon champion Geoffrey Kirui to the the prize.

KIPRUTO WON GOLD

Kipruto followed up his maiden Olympic Games victory last year in Rio with yet another first World title over the same event in 8:14.12, beating Soufiane El Bakkali from Morocco in 8:14.49 and American Evan Jager in 8:15.53.

Kipruto went on win his third Diamond League Series trophy after posting some of the fastest times in the world this year in Rome 8:04.63 and Brussels in 8:04.73.

What made Manangoi stand high was his nomination for the IAAF Athlete of the Year Award.

Kirui surprised many when he won the World marathon title in his season best of 2 hours, 08 minutes and 27 seconds, beating Ethiopian Tamirat Tola, who settled for silver and bronze medallist Alphonce Simbu from Tanzania.

Kirui had in April stormed to victory in 2:09:37 in his Boston Marathon debut. American Galen Rupp was second in 2:09:58, followed by teammate Suguru Osako of Japan in third (2:10:28).

Obiri, the Olympic 5,000m silver medallist, stunned defending champion Almaz Ayana from Ethiopia and pre-race favourite Sifan Hassan to win the World 5,000m title in London, clocking 14:34.86.

BEAT CHAEPNG'ETICH

Ayana settled for silver while Hassan won bronze. What complimented Obiri was her first Diamond League Series 5,000m trophy which saw her nominated for the IAAF Athlete of the Year Award. Obiri had an edge over Olympic and World 1500m champion Faith Chepng'etich with her national 5,000m record breaming feat in Rome in June, setting a new time of 14:18.37. Her time of 14:22.47 from her victory in Shanghai is the second fastest in the world this season after Rome.

World Marathon silver medallist Edna Kiplagat finished third in the category.

Kiplagat, who won the World Marathon in 2011 Daegu and 2013 Moscow, settled for silver in Marathon at the World Championships, losing in the last 2km to Rose Chelimo of Bahrain.

The 37-year-old Kiplagat had in April won the Boston marathon title in 2:21:52 and would later finish fourth at New York City Marathon, losing to Mary Keitany.

Manangoi was also the winner of the Middle Distance Athlete of the Year-male while Kirui went for the Road Running top accolade. Conseslus Kipruto won the Long Distance award.

BETT CROWNED

Obiri also won Long Distance Athlete of the Year-Female, Chepng'etich went for Middle Distance crown while Kiplagat claimed Road Running honours.

Young Athlete of the Year-Male top accolades went to Leonard Bett, who won 2,000m steeplechase title at World Under-18 Championships in Nairobi, beating Elijah Manangoi-'s younger brother George who won 1,500m gold at World Youth event.

Samson Ndigiti, who claimed a rare bronze in 10,000m race walk at the World youth event, was third.

Caren Chebet, the winner in 2000m steeplechase at World Youth competition, won Youth Athlete of the Year-Female, beating fellow gold medallist in 800m Jackline Wambui and Immaculate Chepkirui who won silver in 3000m at the World youth event as well as gold in 3000m at the Commonwealth Youth Games.

1.Athlete of the Year-Male

Elijah Manangoi

Athlete of the Year-Female

Hellen Obiri

2.Young Athlete of the Year-Male

1. Leonard Bett, 2. George Managoi, 3. Samson Ndigiti

Young Athlete of the Year-Female

1.Caren Chebet. 2. Jackline Wambui, 3. Immaculate Chepkirui

3. Middle Distance Athlete of the Year-Male

Elijah Managoi

Middle Distance Athlete of the Year-Female

Faith Chepng'etich

4. Long Distance Athlete of the Year

Conseslus Kipruto

Long Distance Athlete of the Year-Female

Hellen Obiri

5. Road Running Athlete of the Year-Male

Geoffrey Kirui

Road Running Athlete of the Year-Female

Edna Kiplagat

6. Cross Country Athlete of the Year-Male Geoffrey Kamworor

Cross Country Athlete of the Year-Female

Irene Cheptai

7. Coach of the Year

Japtheth Kemei

8. President's Award

Mary Moraa

9. Golden Award

The late Kimutai Ng'etich