Julius Yego and Vivian Cheruiyot named Kenyan athletes of the year

By evelyn watta
Dec 11, 2015
  • Julius Yego(left) with AK president Jack Tuwei and Cabinet Secretary for Sports Dr Hassan Wario.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Some of the AK athletes of the year 2015.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

For a brief moment the besieged Athletics Kenyan family retreated as if into a cocoon to celebrate the country’s commanding performance at August’s world championships.

World champions Julius Yego and Vivian Cheruiyot were on Thursday evening in Nairobi crowned the athletes of the year 2015 with Nicholas Bett the revelation from Beijing, winning the hurdles award and the outstanding performer trophy.

The crowning moment though was the announcement of the prodigious World Javelin gold winner as Kenya’s finest of 2015 from a list bursting with track talent. Ezekiel Kemboi and Asbel Kiprop, the two front runners for the award, curiously escorted Yego to the stage, as the DJ blared the recently released single ‘Julius Yego’ by local artist Khaligraph Jones.

The illustrious runners delighted with the choice, the only other time in Kenyan history when a field athlete has deposed the nations famed distance athletes.

“When we were en-route to Beijing, Asbel and Kemboi told me that -Yego we want you to win the gold and if you became the world champion Kenya would be the world champions-,” Yego said after he received the trophy from the Cabinet Secretary of Sports Dr Hassan Wario and AK, president Lieutenant General Jack Tuwei as he paid homage to the multiple world and Olympic 3000m steeple chase champion Kemboi and three times world champion Kiprop.

“I am really happy with this award which is a big call to Kenyans that it's not only in the running that can win athlete of the year even the field athletes can win this title,” said the 26-year old, the only field athlete honoured out of the three nominees, with no single athlete making the cut for the women’s.

Hurdler Bett Oustanding performer 

An outstanding honour for Yego, whose performance dwarfed David Rudisha’s 800m run that earned him the gold.

The 800m world record holder was the comeback awardee. Bett too was the only sprinter feted from a nomination list missing the female athletes whose performances have been on the spotlight since the two Kenyan runners, who have since been suspended, failed doping tests at the worlds.

Kemboi and Cheruiyot were long distance runners of the year with Kiprop and the world silver 1500m winner Faith Chepng’etich topping the middle distance category.

Taki,Chespol young athletes of the year 

Kumari Taki, who won the World Youth, Africa Youth and Commonwealth Youth 1,500m titles was the young male athelete of 2015 as World Youth 2,000m steeplechase champion Celliphine Chespol, topped the girls.

A splendid night that even melted Wario’s usual tough talk seemingly relieved that the governments firm commitment to crack on doping and the suspensions of Isaiah Kiplagat, former AK head, David Okeyo, a vice president and Joseph Kinyua, former treasurer could have given AK a new lease of life.

"Sports is hitting some turbulence but this is one of the greatest years and congratulations to Athletics Kenya. December is a month of thanksgiving. Kenya is not Russia even the spelling are not the same . We have worked tirelessly on Antidoping

We are not going to let the stars of Kenya falls because of one or two cheats,"said Wario.

AK Athetes of the Year 

1.Athlete of the Year:Male-1.Julius Yego (Javelin), 2. Asbel Kiprop (1,500m), 3. Ezekiel Kemboi (3,000m steeplechase),

Female-1. Vivian Cheruiyot (10,000m), 2. Hyvin Kiyeng (3,000m steeplechase), 2.Agnes Jebet (Cross Country),

2.Young Athlete of the Year:Male-1.Kumari Taki (1,500m), 2. Vincent Kipyegon (2,000m steeplechase), 3. Vincent Kilel (Triple jump)

Female-1. Celliphine Chespol (2,000m steeplechase|, 2. Sandra Chebet (2,000m steeplechase)

3.Sprinter of the Year: Male- 1. Nicholas Bett (400m hurdles), 2. Carvin Nkanata (200m), 3.Boniface Mucheru (400m hurdles)

4.Middle Distance of the Year:Male: 1. Asbel Kiprop (1,500m), 2. David Rudisha (800m), 3. Elijah Manangoi (1,500m)

Female: 1. Faith Chepng’etich (1,500m), 2. Eunice Sum (800m), 3. Nancy Jepkemoi (1,500m)

5.Long Distance of the Year:Male- 1. Ezekiel Kemboi (3,000m steeplechase), 2. Geoffrey Kamworor (10,000m), 3. Jairus Birech (3,000m steeplechase)

Female- 1. Vivian Cheruiyot (10,000m), 2. Hyvin Kiyeng (3,000m steeplechase), 3. Alice Aprot (5,000m; 10,000m),

6.Field Athlete of the YearMale-1. Julius Yego (Javelin), 2. Matthew Kiplagat Sawe (high jump), 3. Alex Kiprotich (Javelin)

7Road Running AwardMale- 1. Eliud Kipchoge (Marathon), 2.Geoffrey Kamworor (Cross Country, Marathon), 3. Stanley Biwott (Marathon)

Female- 1. Gladys Cherono (Marathon), 2. Hela Kiprop (Marathon), 3. Joyce Chepkirui (Marathon)

8.Cross Country Award:Male-1. Geoffrey Kamworor, Bedan Karoki, Justus Kagongo

Female-1. Agnes Jebet, Daisy Jepkemei,

9.Outstanding Performance of the Year: Male or female- 1. Nicholas Bett (400m hurdles), Geoffrey Kamworor (Cross Country, 10,000m, marathon), Virginia Nyambura (3,000m steeplechase)

10. Comeback Performance of the Year: Male or female- 1. David Rudisha (800m), 2. Vivian Cheruiyot (10,000m), 3. Veronica Nyaruai (5,000m, 10,000m)