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The late Kevin Kiptum among 5 nominees for Friday’s SOYA

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Kiptum wins London Marathon. PHOTO/World Athletics
  • Kiptum died on February 11
  • He had already been shortlisted for the Award
  • He had a successful 2023 season which saw him break the World Record

The late Kevin Kiptum, the marathon World Record holder, is one of the nominees for the Sportsman of the Year gong at Friday night’s 2023 Sports Personality of the Year Awards (SOYA) which will take place at the KICC.

The world record holder sadly passed away on February 11 after a road accident in Kaptagat alongside his coach Gervais Hakizimana. Kiptum had already been shortlisted for the award after his performances over the 2023 season.

The Awards had initially been scheduled for February 23, but was postponed to this Friday, as it was the day Kiptum was being laid to rest.

It took 10 months for the late Kelvin Kiptum to completely change the world’s marathon running landscape, ushering in a new era with three fastest times in the history of the distance race.

The death of Kiptum on February 11 this year brought to a halt what perhaps could have been another monumental moment with Kiptum having declared his intention to run the Rotterdam Marathon on April 14 this year in under two hours.

After breaking the marathon world record by 34 seconds at Chicago Marathon on October 8 last year, Kiptum, who ran a new marathon world record of two hours and 35 second, dared the world to dream.

It’s this achievement that saw the 24-year-old Kiptum deservingly earn nomination for the 2023 Sportsman of the Year.

Kiptum’s phenomenal run in Chicago 


Kelvin Kiptum. Photo/ France 24.

Kiptum’s phenomenal run in Chicago saw him break Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge’s previous world record of 2:01:09 set at Berlin Marathon on September 25, 2022.

Kiptum would rewrite marathons history books as the first man to run a marathon under two hours and one minute, marking the first time a world record was set in Chicago since Moroccan Khalid Khannouchi’s feat of 2:05:42 on October 24, 1999.

Kiptum had on April 23 last year blown away the field to win the London Marathon capital in a course record time of 2:01: 25 seconds, the second fastest time ever in marathon history.

The previous course record of 2:02:37 too was held by Kipchoge from 2019.

His achievement was enough to have Kiptum win the 2023 World Athletics Athlete of the Year Out of Stadia Award- Male.

The late Kiptum, who had on December 4, 2022, won Valencia Marathon in a third fastest time in history of 2:01:53, is among two compatriots, who will battle volleyballer Simon ‘Kosirai’ Kipkorir and Kenya Sevens star Patrick Odongo for the award.

Two other athletes nominated for the award

Daniel Simiu

Daniel Simiu celebrates. PHOTO/NOCK

The other duo from athletics is world 10,000m and world half marathon silver, Daniel Simiu and world 800m silver medalist, Emmanuel Wanyonyi, who is also the world cross country mixed relay gold medalist.

Simiu settled for silver in the 10,000m at the World Athletics Championships, Budapest, Hungary on August 20 and World Half Marathon in Latvia on October 1.

What stood at the World Athletics Road Running Championships was when Simiu saluted compatriot, Sabastian Sawe, who overtook him with only less than 50m to the finish line.

The act of sportsmanship saw Simiu nominated for the 2023 World Athletics Fair Play Award.

Simiu’s performance contributed to Team Kenya’s gold medal in the team event. He also finished sixth in men’s 10km at 44th World Athletics Cross Country Championships, Bathurst, Australia but the position was enough to hand Kenya the team gold and title, the first since 2011.

Simiu also won the Kenya Police Championship and National 5,000m titles in June respectively and the 10,000m title at the Kip Keino Classic and Brussels Diamond League in Belgium.

Wanyonyi shows class with the seniors


Emmanuel Wanyonyi celebrates after winning the 800m race

Wanyonyi, 19, transitioned to the seniors with a solid showing in 2023, helping Kenya to the mixed relay gold medal at the World Cross Country Championships.

He then clinched silver in the men’s 800m at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest in a time of 1:44.53 before winning his maiden Diamond League Trophy at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene in September in a new PB (1:42.80)

Kipkorir is the first male Kenyan player to win the Confederation of African Volleyball (CAVB) club title with his Tunisian side Mouloudia Sportive de Bou Salem.

They beat Egyptian giants Zamalek in the final played in May in a championship where he was named in the CAVB seven-player dream team and best blocker.

Odongo scored seven tries at the Africa Cup Sevens in Zimbabwe, which helped Kenya book a place at this year’s Paris Olympics.

The 21-year-old scored two tries in the final against South Africa as Shujaa stunned favourites South Africa 17-12 in the final to recapture the continental title.

He also scored two tries in the final as Kenya thrashed Samurai Barracudas 19-0 to retain Safari Sevens title.

Top 5 Nominees for the Sportsman of the Year Category

-Kelvin Kiptum (Athletics)

-Daniel Simiu (Athletics)

-Emmanuel Wanyonyi (Athletics)

-Patrick Odongo (Rugby)

-Simon Kipkorir (Volleyball)

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