Heartache for Obiri ,Manangoi as duo miss out on top awards
Rio Olympics Games silver medallist and 5,000m world champion Hellen Obiri and fellow 1,500m world champion Elijah Managoi have missed out on the 2017 IAAF Athletics Awards , the athletics body revealed on Monday as it unveiled the final shortlist on Monday.
In the men’s category, Qatari’s Mutaz Essa Barshim , a high jump champion, British great Mo Farah, and South African 400 metres world champion Wayde van Niekerk, make the final three- man list, while in the women’s category, world champions Almaz Ayana (Ethiopia, long distance), Ekaterini Stefanidi (Greece, pole vault) and Nafissatou Thiam (Belgium, heptathlon), make the cut.
Obiri was optimistic that she would be the second Kenyan to win the prestigious IAAF Athletics Awards after two time Olympic and two time World champion David Rudisha who won it in 2010.
It however seems that the wait for Obiri, 27, would stretch further.
However, the 5,000m champion is not letting the disappointment bog her down, adding that she will continue with her build up programmes as she prepares to start her season at the IAAF World Indoor Championships slated for March 1-4 in Birmingham, Britain.
The 2012 World Indoor champion will then shift her focus to the 2018 Commonwealth Games where she intends to harvest another title after missing out during the Glasgow Games.
“I was optimistic about the award because I was third in the online voting. It has come as a surprise to me that I have not made it to the final list. I think the reason why we did not advance is because Kenya has no representative at the IAAF Council,” Obiri claimed.
On the other hand, the 24 year old Manangoi made this year’s initial list of 10 male athletes and had topped the online poll that was released three weeks ago when he garnered over 96,000 votes after a new method was introduced where the athletics faithful were allowed to vote in social media pages.
Although Manangoi was optimistic of making it in the final three, he was also ready for any eventuality as he believed he had a great season.
A three-way voting process determined the finalists. The IAAF Council and the IAAF Family cast their votes by e-mail, while fans voted online via the IAAF’s social media platforms. The IAAF Council’s vote counted for 50% of the result, while the IAAF Family’s votes and the public votes each counted for 25% of the final result. Voting closed on 16 October.
The male and female World Athletes of the Year will be announced live on stage at the IAAF Athletics Awards 2017 at a gala night in Monaco on Friday November 24.
List of finalists
Mutaz Essa Barshim (QAT)
Mo Farah (GBR)
Wayde van Niekerk (RSA)
Almaz Ayana (ETH)
Ekaterini Stefanidi (GRE)
Nafissatou Thiam (BEL)
Additional reporting by Gilbert Kiprotich
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