Kenyan athlete Eliud Kipchoge wins BBC award

Monday December 16 2019

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta congratulates athlete Eliud Kipchoge after he received the Elder of the Golden Heart (EGH) award during the Mashujaa Day celebrations in Mombasa County on October 20, 2019. PHOTO | PSCU

By Ayumba Ayodi

World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge has claimed yet another award moments after receiving two honorary Doctorate Degrees of Science and Law from different universities in Kenya and the United Kingdom.

The Olympic marathon champion was Sunday declared the BBC Sports Personality's World Sports Star of the Year 2019.

Kipchoge received the Doctorate Degree of Science at Laikipia University on December 6, 2019 before adding another Doctorate Degree of Law from the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom.

The Kenyan runner, who also retained World Athletics 2019 Athlete of the Year title, waded off competition from American gymnast Simone Biles, South Africa's Rugby World Cup-winning captain Siya Kolisi and Australian cricketer Steve Smith.

Also in contention were American golfer Tiger Woods and USA footballer Megan Rapinoe, who co-led her team to World Cup victory again this summer.

Last year's winner was Italian golfer Francesco Molinari, who won the 2018 Open Championship and all five of his Ryder Cup matches at the event in Paris.


Kipchoge now makes history as the first Kenyan to win the BBC award.

Kipchoge became the first person to run a marathon in under two hours when he conquered the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in one hour, 59 minutes and 40 seconds on October 12, this year in Vienna, Austria.

Six months before his feat, Kipchoge won the London Marathon for a fourth time and in a course record time of 2:02:37, breaking his own previous record - set in 2016 - by 28 seconds.

Kipchoge had on November 23 won the World Athletics Male Athlete of the Year for the second year in a row. Kipchoge, 35, beat four other contestants to retain the award during the World Athletics gala in Monaco.

According to the University of Exeter, Kipchoge was honoured due to his commitment in the field of sports and being a world marathon record holder.

The Laikipia University Senate, in making this award noted that Kipchoge has made tremendous contributions in the realm of sports. “The Senate specifically recognises his most recent achievement of becoming the first human in history to run a sub-two hour marathon. Further, Kipchoge has been crowned QMale Athlete of The Year for two consecutive years (2018 & 2019),” the Kenyan university said in a statement.

An honorary degree is an academic degree for which a university has waived the usual requirements such as enrollment, a dissertation and the passing of comprehensive examination.

The degree is typically a doctorate or less commonly, a master’s degree, and may be awarded to someone who has no prior connection with the academic institution or no previous post-secondary education.