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Contact: David Monti, Editor & Publisher
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Chris Lotsbom, Junior Editor
RACE RESULTS WEEKLY ANNOUNCES 2010 RUNNERS OF THE YEAR
Rudisha and Langat Recognized for Records, Consistency, Medals
NEW YORK (December 31) -- Race Results Weekly, the wire service of distance running, announced today that Kenyans David Rudisha and Nancy Jebet Langat had been selected the Race Results Weekly 2010 Runners of the Year. RRW, the world’s most comprehensive source of middle and long distance running results and news, selected Rudisha and Langat for fast times, consistently excellent performances, and championship medals.
"Rudisha, who was overwhelmingly the best 800m runner in the world, was a clear choice for our Runner of the Year,” said Editor & Publisher David Monti. "But Russia’s Liliya Shobukhova, who won both the Virgin London and Bank of America Chicago Marathons, and Kenya’s Vivian Cheruiyot, who scored 12 victories including the African and Commonwealth titles at 5000-meters, were also excellent candidates.”
Rudisha’s season was one of the best ever by a middle distance runner. He was undefeated at 800m in 16 starts (including heats), won the African title, the Samsung Diamond League points chase, and the IAAF/VTB Bank Continental Cup. But, by breaking Wilson Kipketer’s vaunted world record twice in the span of eight days last August, first at Berlin (1:41.09) and then again at Rieti (1:41.01), the 22 year-old Kenyan sealed his position as this year’s best middle or long distance runner.
“Rudisha couldn't have asked for a better season in the 800-meters,” said Junior Editor Chris Lotsbom. “Taking down Wilson Kipketer's 13 year-old world record and then running 1:41.01 was the cherry on top of winning the Diamond League and African Championships. Every time he took to the track, the world was anxious to see how close he could get to the world record. By the end of the season it was a question of how much he would own it by."
Langat endured a leg-bending season in both cross country track, and consistently performed brilliantly. The reigning Olympic 1500m champion opened her season back on January 9, with a victory at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country, and closed it nine months later with her second Commonwealth Games gold medal on October 11.
“We really admired Langat’s record of consistent performances on two surfaces over such a long period of time,” Monti explained. “In 23 starts (including heats), she won 16 times, and finished on the podium 21 times. With the exception of her eighth place finish at the Continental Cup, where she was tripped in the homestretch, Langat always won when it counted.”
Langat’s victories included both the 800m and 1500m at the Commonwealth Games (she set a Games record of 4:05.26 at 1500m), and the African Championships at 1500m. She was also the Diamond League points champion for 1500m, and won invitational 1500m titles at the adidas Grand Prix, DN Galan, Aviva London Grand Prix, and the Weltklasse amongst other meets. Langat even ran the #3 time in the world for 800m this year: 1:57.75. That kind of versatility and consistency are rare.
“By running in both the big commercial meets during the summer and the two championship events, Langat did a lot to boost fan interest in the sport,” Monti concluded. “She could have easily skipped either the African Championships or Commonwealth Games and focused only on the Diamond League where the money was. But fans love championship competition, and she put on a great show in both Nairobi and Delhi, no doubt winning new fans for the sport.”
In determining the Race Results Weekly 2010 Runners of the Year, the editors considered each athlete’s entire competitive record for the year, but ultimately gave the greatest weight to their best and most inspiring performances.
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ABOUT RACE RESULTS WEEKLY: Founded in 1994, Race Results Weekly is the professional distance running results and news service relied upon by running industry professionals. RRW covers over 3000 middle and long distance races each year; no source is more comprehensive, respected or timely. Subscription information is available at http://www.raceresultsweekly.com.
PHOTOS: David Rudisha and Nancy Jebet Langat (Photos by Bob Ramsak); may be used with credit.