Nairobi (Xinhua) --
Kenya once more proved its prowess in track and
field. As the curtains draws on the eventful 2018 season, one of
the biggest stars name that captured the country’s performance
was of Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge.
Kenya was crowned the IAAF 2018 Athlete of the Year Award for
his performance in the 42km distance becoming the epitome of
success for any aspiring athlete. For a man who has only tested
loss once in six years, Kipchoge proved that with discipline,
hard work and focus anyone can attain his best mark and go on to
conquer the world.
He showed great
humility even after breaking the world marathon record in Berlin
clocking 2:01:39 taking off one minute and 18 seconds off the
previous mark set by compatriot Dennis Kimetto. But still at his
hour of glory, Kipchoge said he is done celebrating and only
focuses on the next challenge.
“My inspiration is
about doing something great for athletics. I don’t celebrate
because I know the victory was for Kenya and for my fans. I have
no plans yet for 2019, but my management and coach will make a
decision on where I will compete next,” said Kipchoge.
fastest man on the marathon (2:01:39), was competing with
another world record holder, Kevin Mayer (Decathlon), Sweden’s
Armand Duplantis (champion European Pole vault with a jump of
6.05m), the Qatari Abderrahman Samba (2nd performance
in history over 400m hurdles) and American sprinter Christian
However, his star
performance in 2018, which saw him win against hot conditions in
London and Berlin, showed of a man who is a true legend of
In the women
category, Kenya’s Beatrice Chepkoech came close to claiming the
overall IAAF top athlete. Her new world record in the 3000m
steeplechase of 8:44.32 saw her become the first woman to break
8:50 and 8:45 barriers.
She was up against
British Dina Asher-Smith (sprint), Colombian Caterine Ibarguen
(triple jump), Shaunae Miller-Uibo from Bahamas (sprint) and the
Belgian Nafissatou Thiam (heptathlon). Ibarguen was eventually
crowned the IAAF athlete of the year.
The Qatari Mutaz
Essa Barshim (High Jump) and the Belgian Nafissatou Thiam
(Heptathlon) were crowned in 2017.
Beyond the awards,
Africa was at the center stage at the IAAF Continental
Championships in Ostrava, Czech Republic. The various
innovations and changes in format resulted in two entertaining
days of action at the IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018. But
ultimately the teams from Europe, Africa and Asia-Pacific could
not compete with the might of the Americas as they won 18 of the
37 events on their way to lifting the trophy.
extended their advantage and eventually won with 262 points
edging out defending champions Europe, who finished second with
233 points with Asia-Pacific taking third place (188) ahead of
At the Diamond
League contest, the premier of track and field competition, nine
African athletes were among the winners of the 2018 season,
whose finals were contested in Zurich and Brussels.
Kenya again proved
to be the team to beat as it had five out of the nine athletes
claiming the IAAF Diamond Trophy, which comes with US Dollars
50,000 to boot and an automatic ticket to the 2019 World
Championships in Doha, Qatar.