Deputy President William Ruto led Kenyans in congratulating Eliud Kipchoge after he was named the 2018 IAAF male athlete of the year at a colourful ceremony in Monaco on Tuesday night.
Kipchoge set a new marathon world record in Berlin in September, smashing the previous best by an incredible 78 seconds as he clocked 2hr 1min 39sec.
The 34-year-old Olympic champion’s effort was the largest single improvement on the marathon world record since Derek Clayton improved the mark by 2:23 in 1967.
Acclaimed as the greatest marathon runner of the modern era, Kipchoge has dominated marathon racing since making his debut in Hamburg in 2013 after a successful track career that saw him win world gold and silver (2003, 2007) in the 5000m and Olympic silver and bronze (2008, 2004) over the same distance.
He has notched up 10 wins from the 11 marathons he has raced, winning three times not only in Berlin but also London, with victories in Rio for Olympic gold as well as in Hamburg, Rotterdam and Chicago.
The DP took to Twitter to to laud the 33-year-old Olympic Marathon champion, who became the second Kenyan to win the award after David Rudisha.
“Congratulations to Eliud Kipchoge for being named IAAF Male Athlete of the Year 2018 at awards ceremony in Monaco. A legend of the game, Kipchoge deserves the highest accolade for his prowess, consistency, tact, endurance, dominance and strength of character,” the DP tweeted.
He added:, “Kipchoge’s latest feat elevates him to the top of world athletics and assures his place in our history books. A thrilling, proud moment for Kenya. Well done!
Journalist Jeff Koinange tweeted,” He is THE MAN!!!!! Hongera, Eliud! #TheGreatest #IAAF
“Hongera Eliud Kipchoge for being named IAAF Male Athlete of the Year Awards 2018. Proud of you for placing us as a country at the World map. Keep the Star Shining.,” wrote East Africa Legislative Assembly member Mpuru Aburi on Twitter.
Secretary of Digital Innovation and Diaspora in the Office of the President, Dennis Itumbi also took to Twitter to congratulate Kipchoge.
“@EliudKipchoge is officially a living legend. A running artist. An Athletics syllabus, A hero. Yes @nytimes was right – A Sports Philosopher – and For being the finest son of our land, he deserves the highest Medal – Elder of The Golden Heart (EGH).