The Star (Nairobi)

3 December 2012

Kenya: Rudisha's Day At AK Gala

After bagging the Athletics Kenya (AK) Athlete of the Year award, world 800m record holder and Olympic champion David Rudisha will be looking for more accolades during Thursday's Safaricom Sports Personality of the Years Awards at Carnivore.

Rudisha has had a marvelous season, which culminated in winning gold and in the process breaking his own 800m record (1:40.91) at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

The feat has seen him also handed the IAAF Performance of the Year award at the recently concluded IAAF Gala in Barcelona. During the AK Gala held at a Nairobi Club, Rudisha also walked away with the middle distance award and another for being among the two world record holders. The other was Dennis Kimetto who holds the fastest time over the 25km distance.

Rudisha could not hide his joy for crowning the season with the local and international titles. "To be named the overall winner today barely a week after I was recognised by the IAAF for the performance of the year is a big honour," said Rudisha. "Receiving an IAAF award is every athlete's dream and I am happy that I have managed to do that."

He applauded the team to the 2012 London Olympics, which he captained, saying: "As the captain of the Kenya team to London, I can proudly say the team did very well winning 11 medals. There were countries that had bigger number of representatives but returned home empty handed.

All we need is support from everyone including AK and the government." Rudisha is the frontrunner in the SOYA Athlete of the Year award won by world double champion Vivian Cheruiyot last year.

Other nominees for the top award are--Harambee Stars' and Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama, swimmer Jason Dunford, Paralympics champion Abraham Tarbei, Olympic and two time world champion Ezekiel Kemboi, 2012 London Marathon champion Mary Keitany and Vivian Cheruiyot.

Full list of AK golden gala winners

Athlete of the Year:

David Rudisha World Record Holder: David Rudisha (800m), Dennis Kimetto (25Km); Marathon Award: Abel Kirui (men), Priscah Jeptoo (women);

Walking Race Award:

David Kimutai (men), Garce Wanjiru (women); Combined Events Award: Vincent Tarus (men), Agatha Jeruto (women);

Field Events Award:

Julius Yego (men), Linda Oseso (women); Comeback Award: Pamela Jelimo; Outstanding Performance Award: Faith Chepngetich;

Most Promising Award:

Timothy Kitum (men), Mercy Chebwogen (women); Corporate Social Responsibility Award: Paul Kipsiele Koech; Coach of the Year Award: Japheth Kemei (Junior) John Mwithiga (Senior), Julius Kirwa (long service);

Sprints Award:

Alphonse Kishoyian, Joyce Sakari; Middle Distance Award: David Rudisha (men), Pamela Jelimo (women);

Steeplechase Award:

Ezekiel Kemboi (men), Milka Chemos (women); 5000m Award: Thomas Longosiwa (men), Vivian Cheruiyot (women); 10000m Award: Kenneth Kipkemoi (men), Sally Kipyego (women);

Journalist of the Year:

Geoffrey Wachira (Citizen TV).

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