Emmanuel Wanyonyi, only Kenyan shortlisted for Rising Star Award

From a shepherd to a global star. Congratulations Wanyonyi.

At World Athletics U20 Championship in Nairobi Wanyonyi clocked 1:43.76 with compatriot Noah Kibet finishing third in 1:44:88 to bag bronze.

World Under-20 800m champion Emmanuel Wanyonyi is the only Kenyan to be nominated for the 2021 Male Rising Star Award.

Nigerian poet Michael Bassey Johnson once said “Life is in stages. There is a stage where, like grasshoppers, we hop from grass to grass. And another, where we move from grass to grace.”

This quote perfectly summarises, Wanyonyi's meteoric rise to the top. Like many teenagers in Kenya, was once a herdsman. However, what sets apart Wanyonyi from the rest is that the 17 year old set the current World U20 leading time.

Wanyonyi won the World Athletics Championships U20 800m gold medal after cruising to victory at Kasarani Stadium in the World Athletics U20 Championship in Nairobi in August 2021.

He also managed to set a new championship record after clocking a time of 1:43.76 also setting the national record.

Wanyonyi is among four other athletes nominated for the same award across the globe.

They include:

Sean Burrell, USA

- World U20 400m hurdles record

- NCAA 400m hurdles champion

- Sixth on world U20 indoor 400m list

Erriyon Knighton, USA

- Olympic 200m fourth place

- World U20 200m record

- World U18 200m best

Tadese Worku, ETH

- World U20 3000m champion and 5000m silver medallist

- World U20 leading times at 3000m, 10,000m and 10km

- Senior Ethiopian 10km record

Sasha Zhoya, FRA

- World U20 110m hurdles champion

- European U20 110m hurdles champion

- World U20 110m hurdles record

The winner of the 2021 Male Rising Star Award will be selected by an international panel of experts and be announced live at the World Athletics Awards 2021 on December 1.

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