Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge crosses the finish line at the Prater Park in Vienna, Austria, on Saturday October 12, 2019 to complete the INEOS 1:59 Challenge and become the first athlete to run a marathon in under two hours. (Photo: CGTN)
Kenyan marathon great Eliud Kipchoge and South Africa rugby captain Siya Kolisi were announced as nominees for the 2019 BBC World Sport Star of the Year.
Kipchoge and Kolisi are nominated alongside Australian cricketer Steve Smith and a trio of Americans: gymnast Simone Biles, women’s soccer captain Megan Rapinoe and golfer Tiger Woods.
Kipchoge became the first athlete to run a 42.2-kilometre marathon in less than two hours after clocking 1:59:40 to complete the INEOS 1:59 Challenge at Prater Park in Vienna, Austria, in October. Kipchoge also secured a fourth London Marathon title in April.
Kolisi captained South Africa on the way to the Springboks’ victories at the Rugby Championship and the Rugby World Cup in Japan. Kolisi also made history as the first black South African captain to lift the Webb Ellis Cup.
Former Australia captain Smith enjoyed a spectacular return to Test cricket following his year-long ban for his involvement in the ball-tampering scandal. Smith’s exploits helped Australia retain the Ashes against world champions England.
Biles, 22, became the most decorated gymnast in World Championships history amassing a total of 25 medals after bagging five medals at this year’s World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany.
Rapinoe captained the US women’s soccer team to a second straight World Cup victory in France. Rapinoe also won the tournament’s Golden Ball and the Golden Boot. In September, she won the FIFA Player of the Year award.
Woods ended an 11-year wait in April this year to claim his 15th major with a fifth Masters title at Augusta in what is heralded as one of the greatest comebacks in sporting history. Woods also equalled the PGA Tour record of 82 tournament wins with victory at the Zozo Championship in Japan.
Voting closes at 0900 GMT (local time) on December 6.