Beatrice Chebet named SJAK/LG May best with a world record

Double world cross country champion Beatrice Chebet has been named the LG/SJAK Sports Personality of the Month of May after breaking the 10,000m record during the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League series in Oregon,  USA.

The 5,000m Commonwealth Games champion set the world record after winning the 10,000m at 28:54.14 then world record time of 29:01.03 set by Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey in 2021.

“This award allows us as LG Electronics to strengthen sports cohesion among our sports champions and communities across diverse disciplines. Our commitment is to ensure that the desire, dream and vision of our sports personalities do not wither. For us, it is very important to recognize exceptional talent, and Chebet is certainly deserving of the May award,” LG’s Managing Director for East Africa, Dongwon Lee, said.

Chebet beat 12 other strong candidates for the award, including reigning FIA African Rally Champion and current series leader Karan Patel; Gor Mahia striker Benson Omalla; Harambee Starlets player Rebecca Okwaro and E-Sports star Bilal Mohamed, amongst others. Bilal became the first Esports player to be nominated for the monthly award, after winning the African Championship by defeating Nigeria’s Chukwudi Okoli 3-2 in the Street Fighter 6 final held in Lagos, Nigeria.

Also competing with Chebet were runners Daniel Mateiko and Brian Komen; footballers John Mark Makwata and Austin Odhiambo; amateur golfer Michael Karanga; esport Antony Nyamanya; Taekwondo master Patrick Thimangu; and Amos Obae, who was recently named the Rugby Super Series player of the tournament.

Others were Triza Atuka and Deborah Jesang, who were recognized as the best blocker and outside hitter, respectively, and later drafted into the African Dream Team during the 2024 Confederation of African Women’s Volleyball Clubs Championship in Egypt.

SJAK President James Waindicongratulated all the nominees, while urging Chebet to lead Kenya’s medal hunt at the upcoming Paris Olympic Games.

Despite her historic achievement, Chebet revealed that setting a world record was not her initial intent. “I did not plan for it,” she explained, crediting her rival, Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay, for setting the pace for her.

 “Gudaf wanted a world record, so I thought I’d go along and see how my body felt. It responded well, so I pushed ahead.”

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