Kelvin Kiptum wins SOYA's Sportsman of the Year award a week after his burial


•He was laid to rest on Friday, February 23.

Kelvin Kiptum
Image: Instagram

Late marathoner Kelvin Kiptum has been announced as the SOYA 2023 Sportsman of the Year. 

This was during the 20th Sports Personality of the Year Awards (SOYA) Gala held at Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) in Nairobi. 

For the Sportsman of the Year category, others nominated alongside Kiptum were Daniel Simiu and Emmanuel Wanyonyi who are also athletes. 

Rugby player Patrick Odongo and volleyballer  Simon Kipkorir were also nominated for the award. 

Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba paused for a few seconds after calling out Kiptum's name since the late marathoner couldn't be present to pick his award. 

"This is a difficult one. How I wish he was here to pick this accolade himself," the CS said. 

Kiptum's accolade was picked by Former world marathon record holder Patrick Makau on behalf of his family. 

Kiptum died on February 11 in a road accident at the age of 24. He was supposed to run in the Rotterdam Marathon on April 14 this year in under two hours.

He was laid to rest on Friday, February 23.

On October 8, 2023, Kiptum broke the marathon world record by 34 seconds at the Chicago Marathon. 

It is his achievement as a world record holder that saw him nominated for the 2023 Sportsman of the Year.

Initially, the 20th Sports Personality of the Year Awards (SOYA) Gala was to be held on February 23. 

It was moved to March 1 after Kiptum passed to allow the world to celebrate Kiptum’s life.

Another athlete who shone during the gala was double-world record holder Faith Kipyegon. 

Kipyegon won the Female World Athlete of the Year in Track Events following a great season. 

Others who were pitting against Kipyegon for the  Female World Athlete of the Year award were Mary Moraa and Beatrice Chebet. 

Kipyegon, the 2021 and 2022 winner, made history as the first woman to win both the 1,500m and 5,000m titles at a world championship during the global event staged in Budapest, Hungary in 2023. 

Before heading to Budapest, the 29-year-old shattered three world records in less than two months in 1,500m, 5,000m.

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