Despite failing to clinch the major award of the night, the male sportsman of the year trophy, Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge did not leave Monaco empty handed as he was awarded the Exceptional Achievement gong at the Laureus Sports Awards for his world record feat in Germany last year.
Kipchoge shaved 78 seconds of the world record on his way to clinching the Berlin Marathon title in September 2018 and that memorable and historic run has earned him a Laureus recognition.
“I want to thank all my fans across all social media platforms, I thank everyone especially those who love the sport. A running world or a sporting world is a peaceful world; a sporting world is a healthy world, a sporting world is a wealthy world, a sporting world is an enjoyable world,” Kipchoge said after receiving his award at the ceremony held in the prestigious French principality of Monaco.
Kipchoge was also nominated for the sportsman of the year award, a category won by Serbian Tennis sensation Novak Djokovic.
Also nominated in the category was French World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe, Croatian captain and FIFA best player Luka Modric, basketball star LeBron James and five-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton.
“This is the best night ever in my sporting career. To be nominated among best sportsmen from across the world, I am proud and I can say I have realized even athletics can actually give a huge impact to the generations in all the world,” Kipchoge further stated.
United States of America (USA) gymnast Simone Billes won the corresponding female award while golfing legend Tiger Woods clinched the comeback of the year award.
Former Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger, who hugely mirrored Kicphoge’s speech in his own acceptance remarks, was handed the lifetime achievement award.