Emmanuel Korir and Timothy Cheruiyot may be off the list for next month’s IAAF Athlete of the Year Awards but I still believe it is our turn irrespective of the remaining competition.
Comparatively, Eliud Kipchoge and Beatrice Chepkoech are still head and shoulder above the competition hence I expect the two to rule the awards at the end of the day.
This time round, people both at home and the world over voted overwhelmingly for the Kenyans and something has to give this time round.
I have no qualms about the exit of Korir and Cheruiyot at the preliminary stage considering they had average seasons.
However, it’s a different story when it comes to Kipchoge and Chepkoech and the results are there for everyone to see.
Kipchoge set a world marathon record of 2:01.39 in Berlin, Germany in September, shattering the previous mark of 2:02:57 set on the same course by compatriot Dennis Kimetto in 2014.
His incredible winning time was a whole 78 seconds better than the previous mark. This was also the first time the world record had been lowered by more than a minute over the distance in 39 years and the single greatest improvement for 51 years. Wow!
Kipchoge started his season in impressive fashion, winning the London Marathon in April before the Berlin heroics.
Like Kipchoge, Chepkoech has also punched above her weight this season, lowering Ruth Jebet’s previous mark by eight seconds to clock 8:44.32.
Her clamour for the global award is backed up by impressive performances over the past year, where she won seven of the eight steeplechase finals including the IAAF Continental Cup, African Championships and IAAF Diamond League final.
She is also the Commonwealth Games silver over 1500m.
Clearly, ‘this is our time’ and we will not take anything less. Rudisha is the only Kenyan to have won the award in 2010 after a stellar season that saw him break the world 800m record twice in as many weeks.
While it may look obvious that our athletes stood out this year, we have learnt to talk about these things after what happened to our very own Vivian Cheruiyot after dominating the 2015 season.
We all assumed that she had the award in the bag only for the rag to be pulled from under her at the last minute.