Tiki Gelana named AIMS/ASICS World Athlete of the year 2012


Ethiopia’s London 2012 Olympic Games Marathon champion Tiki Gelana was named female AIMS/ASICS World Athlete of the Year 2012 in Marugame, Japan, on Sunday 3rd of February.
The second Ethiopian woman to win the Olympics in Marathon since Fatuma Roba in Atlanta, 25 year Tiki Gelana, became the first Ethiopian woman to win the AIMS/ASICS World Athlete of the Year Award joining  her male compatriots Gezahenge Abera  and Haile Gebrselassie who also won the prestigious award previously. Starting in 2012 with a runaway win and a personal best of 1:08:48 at the Marugame Half Marathon, Tiki was just warming up for her decisive five-minute victory in the Rotterdam Marathon. That victory made her the fifth woman to break 2:19:00 for the distance when she ran a national record of 2:18:58.
Mary Keitany has been the record holder with the fastest time recorded in the London Marathon during the year, but it was Gelana who triumphed crossing the finishing line  with a new  record of 2:23:07 at the London Olympic. She then further improved her half marathon best to 1:07:48 when winning the Great North Run in September.
President Emeritus of AIMS Hiroaki Chosa and AIMS Board Member and Vice President of the Japanese Athletics Federation Dr Keisuke Sawaki presented Gelana with the acclaimed Golden Shoe Trophy during an awards ceremony after she won the Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon earlier in the day.
Kenyan Tegla Laroupe is the only woman athlete to receive the award in four occasions while Paula Radcliffe won it three times. Ethiopian Haile G/Selassie is the only male athlete to be named athlete of the year three times.