Sprint king Usain Bolt of Jamaica and American Allyson Felix were named the Male and Female World Athletes of the Year for 2012 at the glittering gala in Barcelona, Spain.
Rudisha, who shattered his own world record in 800m at the London Olympics final with a blistering individual blast of 1:40.91, was rewarded with the Performance of the Year succeeding compatriot Vivian Cheruiyot who bagged it last year.
The world champion missed out on the top Male Athlete of the Year Award for the second year running having stopped Bolt from winning five successive crowns in 2010 when he broke the world record twice, hammering the marker to 1:41.01 which he mowed in London.
He failed on the last event to defend his IAAF Samsung Diamond League title by losing to Ethiopia’s Mohammed Aman in Brussels in the only blot of the season that could have cost him the top decoration.
However, his showing at the Olympics final was hailed as one of the most commanding performances ever witnessed on the track by no less than previous record holder and chairman of London Games Lord Sebatian Coe and IAAF President Lamine Diack.
Nation sports editor, Elias Makori, made history when the veteran writer was named the World Journalist of the Year at the same gala to become the first from his nation to receive the coveted accolade.
Makori has distinguished himself in covering many international events from Olympics, World Championships, Commonwealth Games and major marathons with athletics his bias.
He is also the founder and organiser of the annual Safaricom Gusii Golden Series that comprises of the Nyamira, Keroka and Kebirigo 10K road races.
“Receiving the world award from the legend, Lord Seb Coe, and sharing the stage with Rudisha, Usain, Allyson and all the heroes and heroines of track and field in Barcelona this afternoon is definitely the highlight of my career,” the elated journalist posted in his FaceBook wall.
Bolt, who won the award for the fourth time, and Felix, a first-time winner, received their trophies and US$100,000 (Sh8.57m) prize at the Athletes of the Year Awards Ceremony in the Grand Ballroom ahead of Saturday’s evening IAAF Centenary Gala Show in the MNAC Museum.
The awards were hosted by International Athletic Foundation Honorary President HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco and IAF and IAAF President Lamine Diack, who presented the trophies to the Female and Male winners respectively.
Usain Bolt, 26, the World Athlete of the Year in 2008, 2009 and 2011, successfully defended both his 100m and 200m titles at the Olympic Games in London, clocking 9.63 and 19.32 respectively, both the fastest times in the World this year.
He concluded his Olympic appearance by anchoring a Jamaican quartet to a 36.84 World record in the 4x100m Relay. He won six out of seven competitions in the 100m, and three of four in the 200m.
Allyson Felix, 27, following World 200m titles in 2005, 2007 and 2009, won the Olympic 200m title in London and was part of the gold medal-winning 4x100m and 4x400m Relay teams to become the first woman since 1988 to win three gold medals at a single Olympic Games.
The victorious 4x100m Relay quartet in London clocked a 40.82 World record. Her 21.69 victory in the 200m at the U.S. Olympic Trials was the fastest in the world this year and made Felix the fourth fastest woman in history.
MALE PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR
Presenter – Peter Snell
David Rudisha (KEN) – 1:40.91 800m World record at the Olympic Games in London.
FEMALE PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR
Presenter – Ed Moses
USA Olympic 4x100m Relay – 40.82 World record at the Olympic Games in London.
IAAF INSPIRATIONAL AWARD
Presenter – Kip Keino
Aries Merritt (USA)
MALE RISING STAR AWARD
Presenter – Jan Zelezny
Keshorn Walcott (TRI)
FEMALE RISING STAR AWARD
Presenter – Marie-José Pérec
Antonique Strachan (BAH)
WORLD JOURNALIST AWARD
Presenter – Sebastian Coe
Elias Makori (KEN)
COACHING LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Presenter – Sergey Bubka
Glen Mills (JAM)
MALE MASTER ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Presenter – Dahlan Al Hamad
Rob Lida (USA)
FEMALE MASTER ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Presenter – Robert Hersh
Lynn Ventris (AUS)