Tuwei optimistic ahead of World Athletics Awards
With the 2020 World Athletics Awards ceremony set to be held virtually on Saturday, Athletics Kenya (AK) president Jackson Tuwei is confident AK will bag the Member Federation Award.
AK is competing against five other federations, drawn from different continents including; Athletics New Zealand, Nicaraguan Athletics Federation, Palestine Athletics Federation, Peruvian Athletics Federation and Polish Athletics Federation.
Having hosted a successful leg of the Continental Tour- Kip Keino Classic in October and Kenyan athletes shining at the World Half Marathon in Poland, Tuwei is confident AK will win the global award.
“First, we are elated as AK to be selected among the six federations to vie for the award and the only in Africa to make the cut. That itself is a big achievement since we have 214 federations globally. We are therefore hopeful that on Saturday we are going to win since our athletes have won global awards before,” Tuwei told Citizen Digital.
Peres Jepchirchir- the half marathon world record holder is the only Kenyan in contention for the Female Athlete of the Year award alongside other four finalists including world 5000m record holder Letesenbet Gidey of Ethiopia and world 10000m champion Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands.
Others are; world triple jump champion Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela and Olympic 100m champion Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica.
Jepchirchir recently won the World Half Marathon title in a women-only world record of 1:05:16 lowering her own record by 18 seconds.
The 27-year-old had first smashed the world record at the Prague Half Marathon in September when she ran 1:05:34 shattering the previous record of 1:06:11 held by Ethiopia’s Gudeta.
Apart from being the only Kenyan in the five-women shortlist, Jepchirchir is also on course to becoming the first Kenyan to win the Female Athlete of the Year award since the gong was introduced in 1988.
Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei is touted to bag the men’s crown after a scintillating form that saw him smash both 5000m and 10000m world records.
World 1500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot who was the only Kenyan in the initial shortlist did not make the cut in the final five.