Rio Olympic gold medalists Eliud Kipchoge and Jemima Sumgong have been named the best male and female marathon runners of 2016.
The pair were selected by an expert panel of the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) members, which is made up of 410 of the world’s leading distance races from over 110 countries and territories.
This will be the second consecutive year that 31-year-old Kipchoge, who also retained his world title this year while setting a new course record along the way, would win the prestigious award.
The statement reads:
”Eliud has continued his excellent form from 2015 into 2016, winning two of the biggest marathon events in the last 12 months.”
”In April 2016, he won the London Marathon for the second consecutive year, setting a new course record of 2:03:05. He then followed that up by winning his first – and Kenya’s second – ever Olympic gold medal in Rio de Janiero, winning the marathon in a time of 2:08:44,”
Jemima Sumgong also 31, enjoyed a very impressive year, winning the world championship in London despite falling, and going on to win Kenya’s first gold medal in the women’s marathon.
A statement from AIMS on Thursday read
”Their outstanding achievements over the past year will be recognized by AIMS and its sponsors and members at the fourth annual AIMS Best Marathon Runner’ Awards dinner reception to be held in the birth place of the Marathon in Athens, Greece, on November 11, 2016.”
Sumgong expressed her delight while thanking the organizers and sponsors for the recognition of her achievements.
”I have been delighted with my form this year and this is a wonderful way to have my effort recognized by the people at the top of organizing my sport at the highest level.”
Kipchoge also delighted to win the award for the second year in a row said:
”I really enjoyed receiving the Best Marathon Runner Award last year in Athens and I am very pleased to have been recognized by AIMS and their members from around the world again. It is a great honor to receive this award.”
Kipchoge is also up for the IAAF Athlete of the Year award that will be handed out in Monaco on December 3.