His sentiments were based on the World Athletics’ recent announcement of the five finalists for the prestigious award.
The athletes were chosen from five countries from three different associations, based on their outstanding achievements across all athletics competitions in 2022, especially at the World Championships in Oregon, and World Indoor Championships in Belgrade.
Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan is the only athlete selected from the continent, alongside Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (100m World Champion), Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas (Triple Jump World Champion), Peru’s Kimberly Garcia (20km and 35km Race Walk World Champion, and USA’s Sydney McLaughlin (400mH World Champion).
According to Kenya’s daily newspaper, , Kirwa said Kipyegon’s failure to make the final list is unfair. “ Kipyegon has achieved a lot of honors in the athletics circle and her failure to make the top five list is the least we expected as a country.”
He continued, “The latest move is a blow to her morale and that of the upcoming athletes who look up to her. There are so many people who wish to get to her level and such happenings may lower their spirits.”
Kirwa believes Kipyegon deserved a spot, after winning the World Championships 1500m title in Oregon clocking 3:52.96, which made her the first female athlete to win four global titles over the distance.
The middle-distance runner also won the Diamond League title and ran a world-leading, Kenyan Record of 3:50.37, which is the second-fastest time in history at the Monaco Diamond League meet, thereby ending the season undefeated.
“I do not know the criteria used but I strongly believe Kipyegon would have made the cut. I firmly believe that good performance goes hand in hand with recognition.” Kirwa concluded.
The winner of the award will be announced on Dec 5, 2022 at the World Athletics award night.