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Kenya marathon great, Eliud Kipchoge wins prestigious Asturias Award for Sports in Spain

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Veteran Kenyan marathon runner, Eliud Kipchoge was bestowed with the prestigious Spanish Princess of Asturias Award for Sports for 2023 in a ceremony organised by the the Spanish Foundation.

The Princess Asturias Award which comes a prize money of $54,000, is one of eight prizes awarded for outstanding work in areas such as the arts, communication, scientific research and literature by the Foundation annually in the northern Spanish city of Oviedo.

The 38-year-old Kipchoge who won Olympic gold medals in the marathon in 2016 and 2020, and world 5,000 meters champion in 2003, is one of the few legends of world athletics and the best marathon runner of all time, the foundation’s panel of judges said while handing him the award.

Highlighting the achievements of Kipchoge, who is popularly called the “The Philosopher” in his country for his strategy and concentration in running, the judges said there was no better athlete to pick up the award.

In his title-laden career, Kipchoge won in 10 editions of four of the major marathons, including London and Berlin Marathons four times each.

He is also the current Olympic marathon champion and holds the world record with a time of 2 hours, 1 minute, 9 seconds set in Berlin last year. He had gone on to lower that time by 30 seconds in another record he set in 2018.

Kipchoge remains the only athlete in history who has run a marathon in less than two hours, although the timing of 1:59:40 set in Vienna in 2019 wasn’t recognized officially as the race was organized so outside aid could be used to help him.

While reacting to the honour, Kipchoge said it was an “absolute honor” to receive the award.

“It motivates me in my goal to leave a legacy in this world through running, since a running world is a more peaceful world, a happier world and a more healthy world,” he said.

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FIFA honours Osimhen after amazing season with Napoli

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Following his record-breaking season with Napoli where he scored 26 goals to win the Serie A top scorer award, Nigerian striker, Victor Osimhen has been honoured by the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA).

The world football governing body Tuesday presented Osimhen with a customized jersey and soccer ball for his “superb displays for Napoli in the 2022/23 season,” which led to Napoli winning the Scudetto after a 33-year wait, according to an official of FIFA, Gelson Fernandes, in a “special message” to the 24-year-old Nigerian forward.

“Victor Osimhen, you represent at the moment what football can do,” Fernandes wrote in an Instagram post.

“From Lagos to Napoli where people love you, you have suffered, but your love for football and determination have guided you.

“Keep going, keep pushing. Africa needs examples and millions are watching and dreaming.”

Osimhen became the first African to win the highest goal scorer award, while also becoming the first player since Zlatan Ibrahimovic to win both the Capocannoniere and the Scudetto in the same season, a record which has stood for 14 long years.

His horde of honours was also enhanced with a National Award of Member of the Order of the Federal Republic bestowed on him by former Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari.

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Tunisian tennis star, Ons Jabeur zooms into French Open quarter-finals

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Tunisian tennis sensation, Ons Jabeur took a step further in her quest to win the 2023 French Open Grand Slam when she defeated World number 36, Bernarda Pera 6-3, 6-1 to zoom into the quarter-finals.

Jabeur, ranked number 7 in the world, and who only won her first WTA 1000 title at the Madrid Open last year, has since then been facing a downward slide coupled with injuries which saw her either missing out on some tournaments or crashing out in early rounds.

However, the 28-year-old who became the first ever African woman to reach a Grand Slam final last year, was at her best when she defeated Pera to move to the next stage on Monday night.

Though Jabeur was not at her fluent best and was herself broken three times in the first set and at the start of the second set, she still raced through the final six games, sealing victory in 63 minutes.

“I never thought about something was missing or I didn’t reach all four of them,” the African said after the match.

“Maybe it’s a good thing. It came and hopefully, we’ll set it to all semi-finals and then all finals,” she added.

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