New Vision (Kampala)

Uganda: Kiprotich Takes 2012 Athletics Crown

London 2012 Olympic Games gold medallist Stephen Kiprotich raced himself to the athlete of the year award, beating three other nominees to the title, during a dinner at Serena Hotel Friday evening.

He is also favourite to win the Nile Special USPA Sports Personality of the Year 2012 award which takes place Saturday evening at Imperial Royale Hotel.

The athlete won himself a cash prize of sh1.5 m courtesy of event sponsors MTN, a night at Serena Hotel and a holiday to a destination of his choice courtesy of Beyond the Sky Tours and Travels.

"I thank God for what happened to me and all other people who have managed to help me achieve this including my coaches and fellow athletes," said Kiprotich after claiming the award from state sports Minister Charles Bakkabulindi.

"It is a challenge and I will work hard to see that I maintain it," said the athlete, who was flanked by his wife Patricia Cherop and the two runner-ups Sarah Nambawa and Benjamin Kiplagat.

Sarah Nambawa became the first athlete to retain a continental title, when she won gold in the Africa Senior Women championships triple jump in Benin, while Kiplagat won bronze in the 3000m event.

"He deserved it. That was a great achievement," said Nambawa, who won herself sh1m, with Kiplagat winning sh750, 000.

Kiprotich promised to concentrate on seeing that he finishes on the podium in the World Championships in August this year.

Athlete of the Year: Stephen Kiprotich

First Runner-up: Sarah Nambawa

2nd Runner-up: Benjamin Kiplagat

Upcoming male: Michael Cherop

Upcoming Female: Winnie Nannyondo

Past five winners

2011: Annet Negesa

2007-2010: Moses Kipsiro

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