21 MAY 2011 General News Gothenburg, Sweden

Makau named AIMS athlete of year

Patrick Makau with his AIMS/ASICS Golden Shoe award (AIMS)Patrick Makau with his AIMS/ASICS Golden Shoe award (AIMS) © Copyright

Patrick Makau of Kenya has been named the the AIMS/ASICS World Athlete of the Year, one of the most highly coveted accolades in world road running. This is the first time Makau has won the award and his success follows on from that of his compatriot, last year’s winner, the late Sammy Wanjiru.


Gothenburg Half Marathon Race Director Bo Edsberger presented the AIMS/ASICS Golden Shoe award, a world accolade from the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS), at a short ceremony prior to the Gothenburg Half Marathon which takes place today (21). Makau joins fellow Kenyans Benson Masya, Paul Tergat, Josephat Kiprono and Sammy Wanjiru.


Makau had an outstanding year in 2010, winning the 36th edition of the City-Pier-City Half Marathon in The Hague clocking a sub-one hour time of 59:52. After this he significantly improved his marathon best to 2:04:48 to win the Rotterdam Marathon, becoming the fourth fastest runner over the distance only to follow up this achievement with a subsequent win in the Berlin Marathon, clocking 2:05:08 to win his first World Marathon Major.


“This is my first AIMS/ASICS Athlete of the Year Award and I hope it will be the first of many," Makau said. "I am truly honoured for my name to be listed among some of the greatest athletes and distance runners of all time and I would like to thank AIMS and its members for their continued support. My goal for this year is to work hard and continue my development as I still have a lot to learn, however I look forward to challenging myself and one day emulating the great achievements of those who have gone before me.”


The AIMS/ASICS World Athlete of the Year Awards were founded in 1992 and awards are made each year via nominations from the member races of the world body. The membership totals some 300 races in over 90 countries covering every continent of the world.


“It is a privilege to award this honour to a great talent in distance running Patrick Makau," said Paco Borao, world president of AIMS. "Patrick had an outstanding year last year and we look forward to seeing many more outstanding performances from him for some time to come. He is a worthy successor to the crown held by his countryman the late great Sammy Wanjiru.”


Previous winners of the AIMS/ASICS World Athlete of the Year Award include Benson Masya (Kenya), Dionicio Ceron (Mexico), Vincent Rousseau (Belgium), Paul Tergat (twice – Kenya), Josia Thugwane (South Africa), Ronaldo da Costa (Brazil), Abel Anton (Spain), Gezahenge Abera (Ethiopia), Josephat Kiprono (Kenya), Khalid Kannouchi (USA), Stefano Baldini (Italy), Jaouad Gharib (Morocco), Haile Gebrselassie (thrice – Ethiopia) and Sammy Wanjiru (Kenya).


AIMS for the IAAF