Lately in the sporting sense, the name Stephen Kiprotich is synonymous with success. That’s even hard to take away owing to the fact that the marathoner has been the country’s most prosperous athlete over the last two years.
Having clinched gold at the Moscow World Athletics Championships back in August, the 24-year-old was crowned Athlete of the Year at the Uganda Athletics Federations (UAF) annual awards gala at Serena Hotel on Saturday night.
The Olympic champion beat Mumbai Marathon winner Jackson Kiprop, mountain runners Geoffrey Kusuro and Phillip Kiplimo to the top honour.
Kiplimo, who won the World Mountain Running Championships gold in Poland in September, finished second. Last month, Kiplimo also clinched silver behind Kusuro at the Africa Mountain Running Championships in Nigeria.
Mumbai Marathon winner Kiprop finished third overall with sprinter Dennis Opio and long distance runner Stella Chesang taking the Best Upcoming Athletes’ gongs. “I am happy to have won this award again,” clad in a brown suit, a smiling Kiprotich said after receiving the diadem from chief guest Presidential Adviser on Media Sarah Kagingo. “I salute my coaches and fellow athletes for their input and I thank President Yoweri Museveni for his support.”
Adding: “The last time I was here, I promised I would bring another medal. This year, my target was Moscow and since all efforts paid off, it has been a successful one for me. I hope I successfully defend my title come Beijing in 2015.”
Kiprotich’s year started with victory at the Granollers Half Marathon (1:01:15) in Spain back in February.
Two months later, he took sixth position at the Virgin London Marathon after clocking two hours, eight minutes and five seconds.
On his second appearance at the World Championships, Kiprotich stormed the Russian capital and scooped gold in a time of 2:09:51 with much help from Kiprop, who finished tenth. That feat was not only the country’s second gold in history of the event but also ensured Uganda finished 12th on the medal table.
At the New York Marathon last month, a seemingly fatigued Kiprotich finished 12th, five places behind Kiprop.
Date of Birth: February 27, 1989
1st – Granollers Half Marathon (1:01:15)
6th – Virgin London Marathon (2:08:05)
1st – Moscow World Championships Marathon (2:09:51)
12th – New York Marathon (2:13:05)
3000m - 7:48.06 (2007)
3000m Steeplechase - 8:26.66 (2010)
5000m - 13:23:70 (2008)
10,000m - 27:58.03 (2010)
Half Marathon - 1:01:15 (2013)
Marathon - 2:07.20 (2011)
2008 - 12th World Cross Country Championships, Edinburgh (junior)
2008 - 5th World Junior Championships, Bydgoszcz (10,000m)
2009 - 23rd World Cross Country Championships, Amman (senior)
2010 - 6th - African Championships in Athletics, Nairobi (10,000m)
2010 - 4th Obudu Ranch African Mountain Running Championships
2011 - 9th World Championships in Athletics, Osaka (Marathon)
2012 - 3rd Tokyo Marathon
2012 - 1st Olympic Games, London (Marathon)