By Bernard Okumu
World champions Julius Yego and Vivian Cheruiyot have been named the Kenyan male and female athletes of the year 2015.
The two were recognized by Athletics Kenya in an awards gala held Friday night in Nairobi.
Javelin star Yego earned the biggest ovation for his outstanding performance at the world championships in Beijing where he became the first Kenyan to win a world title in a field event.
Yego beat three-time Worlds 1,500m Asbel Kiprop and four-time Worlds 3,000m steeplechase king, Ezekiel Kemboi to the top male award.
Cheruiyot, a former double world 10,000m and 5,000m champion bounced back to reclaim the 10,000m title in Beijing. Hurdler Nicholas Bett, who stunned the worlds when he stormed to victory in the men’s 400 metres hurdles, scooped two awards in the outstanding performance of the year and the Sprinter of the Year categories.
The Kenyan policeman became the first African to win the 400m hurdles world title since Zambian Samuel Matete in Tokyo in 1991.
Kumari Taki, who won Africa Youth, World Youth and Commonwealth Youth 1,500m titles this year, was declared Male Young Athlete of the Year. World Youth champion, Celliphine Chespol beat Sandra Felis Chebet to the Female Young Athlete of the Year.
Kemboi beat World Cross champion Geoffrey Kipsang, who won silver in 10,000m at the Worlds and steeplechase Diamond League winner, Jairus Birech to the Long Distance Athlete of the Year, men.