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How Ethiopia’s Gidey beat Kenya’s Ebenyo to bag World Athletics Fair Play Award

Sunday, December 10th, 2023 17:24 | By
Ethiopia's world 10,000m silver medallist Letesenbet Gidey with Netherlands Sifan Hassan. PHOTO/World Athletics
Ethiopia's world 10,000m silver medallist Letesenbet Gidey with Netherlands Sifan Hassan. PHOTO/World Athletics

Ethiopia's world 10,000m silver medallist Letesenbet Gidey was finally named as the recipient of the World Athletics Fair Play Award, beating Kenya's Daniel Ebenyo and Britain’s Jessica Warner-Judd.

Gidey's global recognition marked the end of a process that involved members of the International Fair Play Committee (CIFP) and World Athletics forming a jury to decide on a shortlist of fair play moments.

The fans were also involved in voting for a moment they felt it exemplified an act of fair play and therefore deserved to be honoured.

"Those social media scores were combined with jury votes to determine three finalists, before Gidey was selected as the winner," World Athletics said.

Ebenyo's fair play moment

Ebenyo, a 10,000m silver medallist at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, was shortlisted to vie for the award after he saluted his teammate, Sabastian Sawe, as he passed him on the way to winning gold during the World Athletics Road Running Championships in Riga, Latvia.

Daniel Ebenyo in 10000m race action in Brussels Diamond League series. PHOTO/World Athletics
Daniel Ebenyo in 10000m race action in Brussels Diamond League series. PHOTO/World Athletics

Gidey, on the other hand, was shortlisted for a moment of good gesture that occurred at the World Athletics Champions in Budapest. The Ethiopian, after winning silver in the women’s 10,000m, went back to comfort the Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan after the latter's dramatic fall on the home straight.

Gidey's pleased

“I am really honoured and pleased to present you with this year’s special fair play trophy. Congratulations once again for your wonderful achievements this year, both on the track and beyond that, helping your fellow athletes," Sunil Sabharwal, CIFP Secretary-General and World Athletics Executive Board Member, said as he awarded Gidey.

"When Sifan fell, my heart was broken. I know the feeling of falling. When people are happy, I’m happy. I feel sad when they’re sad. I am happy to receive the Fair Play Award 2023," Gidey said.

CIFP President Jeno Kamuti said recognised the many fair play acts witnessed and said those acts deserve recognition for displaying sportsmanship.

"This year we have seen and received many fair play acts in the sport of athletics.

"I am convinced that all the fair play nominations deserve the Fair Play Award, as they all made sportsmanship a priority rather than just winning, but we can only have a single winner. For her special act of fair play this year, I would like to congratulate Letesenbet Gidey," Kmauti said.

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