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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge honoured as ‘Male
Athlete of the Year’ for marathon running

MONACO (Xinhua) -- Following are the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Athletics Awards 2018 winners announced here on Tuesday:

Male Athlete of the Year

Eliud Kipchoge, Kenya, marathon running

Female Athlete of the Year

Caterine Ibarguen, Colombia, long jump

Male Rising Star

Armand Duplantis, Swedan, Pole

Female Rising Star

Sydney McLaughlin, United States, Sprint

IAAF President’s Award

Andreas Brugger, Switzerland, shot putter

IAAF Woman of the year award

Evelyn Claudio Lopez, Puerto Rico, Chairperson of the NACAC Women’s Commission and General Secretary of the Association of Pan-American Athletics

Athletics Photograph of the year

Felix Sanchez Arrazola, Spain, Photographer

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EARLIER REPORTS:

Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei withdraws from Honolulu Marathon

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- A miscalculated step in training has left world half marathon record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei nursing a twisted ankle, effectively forcing her out of Sunday’s Honolulu Marathon in Hawaii.

Jepkosgei, 24, said she is frustrated by the injury, the second this year after she sustained a foot injury days before the World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia, Spain in March.

That injury kept her out of competition for two months before she returned to action at the Great Manchester 10km run, where she finished third. Speaking in Eldoret on Tuesday, Jepkosgei said she will forfeit her spot at the starting line of the Honolulu Marathon on Sunday to attend to her sore leg.

“It is a blow to my plans. I had done all the training and was winding up when I missed my step. It has cost me because I will not be running on Sunday. My foot is still sore and I can’t put more pressure on it,” said Jepkosgei on Tuesday.

Jepkosgei remains adamant she wants to get her marathon debut off the blocks as she hopes to represent Kenya at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. However, that will depend on her performance in the 42km race.

The Kenyan clocked 01:04:51 in the Prague Half Marathon last year when she also broke the world 10km, 15km and 20km records. She went on to beat her own 10km world record time back in Prague three months later when she became the first woman to ever run under the 30-minute mark in the distance.

“The training was [going] according to plan and was great save for the small injury. History was in the making, but like any other athlete, I must...listen to my body and now it is injured,” added Jepkosgei who trains under the guidance of her husband Nicholas Koech.

Jepkosgei hopes to return to action in under two months and hopes to compete in one of the top marathons in early 2019. “The plan changes to early 2019. But what is important now is for the injury to heal and for me to get back to fitness,” she said.

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Kenyan soccer clubs prosper in continental football

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s Kariobangi Sharks will not take their foot off the gas pedal when they meet Djibouti’s Arta Solar in the return leg of their Confederation of African football (CAF) Confederation Cup in Djibouti on Wednesday.

At the same time, Kenyan Premier League winners Gor Mahia, who are yet to name their permanent coach, are in Malawi to play Nyasa Big Bullets on Wednesday in the CAF Championships League holding onto a slim 1-0 lead.

Gor Mahia coach Zedekiah Otieno says his side must be ruthless in front of goal and take the game to their opponents if they are to win and continue in the campaign.

“It is about us taking the game to them. They were defensive in Nairobi, but at home, they may want to come out and level the scores. That should give us chinks [in their armor], which our striking force must exploit to our advantage,” Otieno said before their departure on Monday.

For Kariobangi Sharks, who are making their debut in continental football, life can’t get any better. Coach William Muluya has reiterated the need for the team to remain focused and finish the job.

“This is football and anything is possible,” said Muluya. “We may have a healthy goal advantage, but we must be on the lookout and bury our rivals to eliminate any surprises.”

Now the coach wants the players, who departed for Djibouti on Tuesday morning, to prepare for a rough ride in the tiny northern African country. Kariobangi Sharks mauled Arta Solar 5-1 in Nairobi last week.

“This is just the beginning for us. We were looking forward to the start of the season and that is why we have kicked it off on the right foot. But let the players not be confused and rest on their laurels because we have a healthy lead. That can change very fast in football,” he adds.

Sharks kicked off the season with gusto, beating Arta Solar in the CAF Confederation Cup, before seeing off Gor Mahia in the local Super Cup to win the first major trophy this season.

“We have done hard work in training and now it is paying dividends. But tougher games are yet to come and we are alive to the fact that as the season continues... the tougher our opponents will be. But this team is full of men with strong will and they will strive to give absolutely everything,” he adds.

             

 

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