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We should vote for our stars ahead of IAAF gala

Thursday November 7 2019

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge celebrates after busting the mythical two-hour barrier for the marathon on October 12 2019 in Vienna. Kipchoge on Saturday made history, busting the mythical two-hour barrier for the marathon on a specially prepared course at Prater park with an unofficial time of 1:59:40.2. PHOTO | ALEX HALADA |

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge celebrates after busting the mythical two-hour barrier for the marathon on October 12 2019 in Vienna. Kipchoge on Saturday made history, busting the mythical two-hour barrier for the marathon on a specially prepared course at Prater park with an unofficial time of 1:59:40.2. PHOTO | ALEX HALADA |  AFP

BARNABAS KORIR
By BARNABAS KORIR
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After shining in New York Marathon last weekend, focus now turns to the World Athletics Awards in Morocco on November 23. But first things first.
Congratulations are in order for the Kenyan winners at last weekend’s New York City Marathon.

Geoffrey Kamworor recaptured the title in the men’s race ahead of Albert Korir while Joyciline Jepkosgei led defending champion Mary Keitany to a Kenyan 1-2 finish in the women’s race.

This meant that we end the season on a high after dominating the marathon scene with Eliud Kipchoge’s 1:59:40.2 time at the INEOS challenge in Vienna, Austria, the highlight.

The beauty of all this is that marathon will be well represented in the IAAF Gala with Kipchoge taking care of the men’s interests and Brigid Kosgei representing the womenfolk.

Brigid will have the company of world 5,000 metres champion Hellen Obiri and world 3,000m steeplechase record holder Beatrice Chepkoech while Kipchoge will tag along world 1,500m champion and Diamond League winner Timothy Cheruiyot.

While we celebrate the fact that we are one of the heavily represented countries at the awards gala, we would love to go a step further to win both awards if not one. I know Kipchoge is bound to make history if he wins the award for the second time in a row. He deserves it.

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Brigid and Chepkoech also deserve the women’s gong by virtue of breaking records against very competitive fields.

However, this shouldn't be misconstrued to mean that Obiri and Cheruiyot do not deserve. They actually do, but I was tackling records first.

Kenyans must remember that talking alone will not give our athletes honours because we need to vote for them.

This week marks the opening of the voting process ahead of the World Athletics Awards. And like other countries, we must support our athletes.

We have a habit of sitting back during the voting process and complaining later.

Remember Vivian Cheruiyot in 2011 after winning double in Daegu? We didn't vote for her and she was knocked out. We don’t want a similar scenario. Just like we supported Kipchoge’s 1:59 bid let’s back our athletes.

Korir is Athletics Kenya’s Nairobi branch chairman. [email protected]

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