Kemboi, Sum named Kenyan Athletes of the Year 2013

By evelyn watta
Nov 29, 2013

World champions Ezekiel Kemboi and Eunice Sum were named athletes of the year at the Athletics Kenya, AK awards held in Eldoret on Thursday.

Kemboi the double Olympic steeplechase champion was voted the winner by the AK panel of selectors after winning his third world title in Moscow in August, his sixth championships medal.

Sum, scooped the female award following her stirring victory in the 800m at the Luzhniki Stadium.

The African silver medalist also won her last race Diamond race that earned her a share of the jackpot.

Kemboi, 31, is one of only three men to have won the Steeplechase gold at the Olympics and the world championships.

“It has been a long journey for me. I have represented my country for the past 13 years, it s not been easy. One thing I have learnt is to put Gold first,” said Kemboi who is also in the running for the Safaricom Sportsman of the year award who will be crowned on December 10 in Nairobi.

Kemboi received his award from the Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandagor at a glittering ceremony right at the home of the champions, the first time the awards ceremony was held outside the capital.

As is the tradition on special occasions the two winners drank the traditional fermented milk Mursik which the witty Kemboi eagerly guzzled down from the colorful gourd. 25-year-old Sum ran her fastest 800m in Moscow clocking 1:57.38.

“It is a surprise award for me and I am very happy to win the female award, “said Sum who looked stunning in a flowing purple evening dress. The Outstanding athlete award as expected went to Julius Yego, who impressed with a fourth place ranking in the men’s javelin final at the World championships.

Conseslus Kipruto,the World silver steeplechase medalist won the most improved men award with Lydia Chepkurui also a winner in the water and hurdle race taking the women’s crown.

The coaches award went to Sammy Rono who led the Kenyan teams at the World cross country and World championships while Joseph letting won the long service award.

Former Boston marathon winner and now serving Member of Parliament for Cherangany Wesley Korir won the community service award, a relatively new category introduced by AK, for putting up a hospital in his home area.

Chris Mbaisi of the Star bagged the Athletics journalist of the Year.

66 medalists awarded

Alex Kiprotich earned the most promising awards for his Javelin Gold at the African junior championships. In total Kenyan athletes won 66 medals in various competitions: Africa Youth in Nigeria, Africa junior in Mauritius, the World Juniors in Spain, World Youth in Ukraine, World cross country in Poland and the world championships in Russia, all who were feted at the gala awards.

There was a firm commitment from the Government that they would speed up the completion of the Kipchoge Keino stadium, the regions only facility with a tartan track, which has been under renovations for close to two years.

“We are concerned about the Kipchoge Keino stadium and I can promise that the remaining work will be completed and finalized urgently, “said the Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario who was represented by the Commissioner of Sport Gordon Oluoch.

“It is embarrassing to note as the home of champions we have nothing to show for this with regards to a stadium. I want to challenge the government that of they don’t complete the remaining work the county government will take over and finish the stadium in the shortest time possible,” said Mandagor.

The ceremony also honored 10 pioneer athletes who won medals for Kenya in the Olympics, world and Continental championships.