Eliud Kipchoge started this year in the same glorious fashion he finished the last on Friday night when he was crowned the Overall Sports Personality of the Year at the glittering 2018 Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year Awards (Soyas) held for the first time in the coastal city of Mombasa.
The Olympic champion and world marathon record holder was the toast of the night having been honoured with a stunning exploding fireworks display at the 15th running of the gala held at the iconic Fort Jesus fortress- fittingly built in the 15th century- having earlier risen to receive the coveted Male Sports Personality of the Year Award.
The fastest male marathoner on the planet who uncorked the scarcely believable 2:01:39 world record at the 2018 BMW Berlin Marathon last September added the Soya trophies to his IAAF Male Athlete and UN Person of the Year awards he won in the tail end of his most memorable season.
The Rio 2016 Olympic gold winner was also named the AIMS Male Marathoner and Citus Magazine Male Athlete of the Year in tribute to a magic year where he fell short of breaking the previous record of 2:02:57 when he stormed to his third London Marathon title last April.
Fellow women 3000m steeplechase record holder, Beatrice Chepkoech, took the corresponding Sports Personality of the Year Award at the Oscars of Kenyan sports where football and tennis made a strong impression in the honours list.
Chief celebrity guest and the fastest female sprinter on the planet, Ivorian star Marie-Josee Ta Lou handed Chepkoech the sought after Female Sports Personality Award in recognition of her remarkable 2018.
Chepkoech, 27, set the new world record of 8:44.32 at the Herculis Diamond League meeting in Monaco in July that shaved the world steeplechase record by eight seconds, backed up by the third-quickest mark of all-time as she became the first woman to dip under 8:50 and 8:45 in the women’s water and barriers race.
Her barnstorming season saw her win seven out of eight steeplechase finals including the Continental Cup, African Championships and Diamond League having kicked off her season with silver at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.