Athletics Kenya head coach Julius Kirwa says reigning world 1500m champion, Faith Kipyegon’s failure to make the final list for Women’s World Athlete of the Year award is unfair, according to the Kenya’s daily newspaper, The Star.
World Athletics announced the five finalists for the award on Monday ahead of the final award ceremony on December 5 in Monaco but Kirwa insists the likeable Kipyegon deserves to make list which has only one African, Nigerian sprint hurdler, Tobi Amusan carrying the continent’s hopes.
Others listed are Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica, Kimberly Garcia of Peru, Sydney McLaughlin of the USA and Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas.
“Kipyegon has achieved a lot of honours in the athletics circles and her failure to make the top five list is the least we expected as a country,” he was quoted to have said by The Star.
He said the latest move is a blow to her morale and that of the upcoming athletes who look up to her. “There are so many people who wish to get to her level and such happenings may lower their spirits.”
Kipyegon won the 1,500m race at the World Championships in Oregon (3:52.96) in June and won the women’s 1,500m Diamond League Trophy.
She also ran a world-leading time and Kenyan record of 3:50.37 at the Monaco Diamond League Meeting in August.
He said: “I do not know the criteria used but I strongly believe Kipyegon would have made the cut. I firmly believe that good performance goes hand in hand with recognition.”