6 November 2012

Kenya: Rudisha On List

Olympic Games and world 800m champion, David Rudisha has been nominated for the IAAF Athlete of the Year award. This will be the second time in three years Rudisha is in the race for the gong, having clinched the award in 2010, where he broke the world 800m record twice in a span of seven days.

Rudisha, who is also the world record holder, has been nominated alongside double Olympic champion and record holder Usain Bolt, American Olympics gold winner and 110mH world record holder (12.80) Aries Meritt.

Rudisha smashed his own wold record in the two-lap race, clocking 1:40.91 to set alight the Olympic Stadium in London. Rudisha, Bolt and Meritt were short-listed from an initial list of 10 that was released early last month.

Bolt on the other hand, defended his three sprints titles from Beijing--the 100m, 200m and 4X100m relay. He , however, did not break his own world record in any of the events.

The other athletes nominated in the initial list of 10 included world 100m champion Yohan Blake, double Olympics champion Mo Farah, Olympics 400m champion James Kirani, world triple jump champion Christian Taylor and Olympics pole vault champion Renaud Lavillenie.

The women's nominees list will be announced soon. The winners of the 2012 World Athlete of the Year Awards will be announced live on stage during an IAAF Awards Gala on November 24 in Barcelona.

Elsewhere, former world 10,000m champion Linet Masai leads a strong field to the Atapuerca International meeting in Spain as the 2012/ 2013 IAAF cross country permit series, on Sunday

Masai, 22, has won silver medal at the last three world cross country championships thus --2009, 2010 and 2011. She'll be joined by compatriots Priscah Jepleting, a world cross country silver medallist in 2006, and rising star Mercy Cherono.

Ethiopians Belaynesh Oljira and Hiwot Wude, who both finished fifth in this year's Olympics 10,000m and 3,000m steeplechase finals, will also be in the race.

Ireland's Fiounnala Britton, the reigning European champion, and Portugal's Sara Moreira, are also expected. In the men's category, reigning world cross country champion Imane Merga of Ethiopia will be the front runner for the event.

Merga, who followed up his early 2011 success in Punta Umbria with a bronze medal in the 10,000m at the World Championships in Daegu later that year, kicked off his 2011/12 cross country campaign with a victory and will once again face a strong challenge.

The men's field will also include his Ethiopian compatriot Dejen Gebremeskel, the 2011 world 5,000m bronze medallist and 2012 Olympic silver medallist over the distance.

Kenya will come armed with Vincent Chepkok, the 2011 world cross country bronze medallist, and Emmanuel Bett, who lead the world this season over 10,000m courtesy of his early September 26:51.16 run at the Van Damme Memorial in Brussels

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