Manangoi, Obiri nominated for IAAF’s World Athlete of the Year


Kenya's Elijah Motonei Manangoi celebrates winning the final of the men's 1500m athletics event at ...
(FILE)Kenya's Elijah Motonei Manangoi celebrates winning the final of the men's 1500m athletics event at the 2017 IAAF World Championships at the London Stadium in London on August 13, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNIS

Kenya’s World champions Elijah Manangoi and Hellen Obiri are among 20 nominees for the 2017 World Athletes of the Year ahead of the IAAF Athletics Awards 2017 in Monaco.

The shortlist released on Monday includes 10 men and 10 women nominees who were selected by an international panel of athletics experts, comprising representatives from all six continental areas of the IAAF.

The Kenyan duo had a stellar 2017 season where both won gold medals at the IAAF World Championships in London with Obiri adding the women’s 5000m Diamond League trophy to her collection of 2017 awards.

Manangoi, who upgraded her 2015 Beijing silver medal to gold at the English capital, narrowly missed out on the Diamond League trophy to teammate Timothy Cheruiyot.

Usain Bolt, who won the IAAF world athlete of the year award six times, has not been included in the 10-men shortlist for this year’s prize.

Athletics fans will have the chance to determine the finalists  by participating in an online vote through IAAF’s social media pages with the final result relayed on the same platforms.

“A three-way voting process will determine the finalists. The IAAF Council and the IAAF Family will cast their votes by email, while fans can vote online via the IAAF’s social media platforms.

“Individual graphics for each nominee will be posted on Facebook and Twitter later this week; a ‘like’ or ‘favourite’ will count as one vote.

“The IAAF Council’s vote will count for 50% of the result, while the IAAF Family’s votes and the public votes will each count for 25% of the final result,” a statement from the IAAF read.

Voting will close on October 16 upon which three men and three women finalists will be announced by the world governing body.

First Kenyan

Kenya's Hellen Onsando Obiri reacts after winning the final of the women's 5000m athletics event at the 2017 IAAF World Championships at the London Stadium in London on August 13, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV
Kenya’s Hellen Onsando Obiri reacts after winning the final of the women’s 5000m athletics event at the 2017 IAAF World Championships at the London Stadium in London on August 13, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV

Obiri will face-off with the likes of 10,000m World champion Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia who won last year’s prize after clinching Olympic gold at Rio 2016.

Olympic gold medallist and three-time champion over 800m Caster Semenya will also challenge Obiri in her quest to become the first Kenyan female winner of the award.

Manangoi could become the second Kenyan to win the male award after two-time Olympic champion and World record holder in the 800m David Rudisha who won it in 2010.

ATHLETE OF THE YEAR NOMINEES’ LIST

Men

  1. Mutaz Essa Barshim (QAT)
  2. Pawel Fajdek (POL)
  3. Mohamed Farah (GBR)
  4. Sam Kendricks (USA)
  5. Elijah Manangoi (KEN)
  6. Luvo Manyonga RSA)
  7. Omar McLeod (JAM)
  8. Christian Taylor (USA)
  9. Wayde van Niekerk (RSA)
  10. Johannes Vetter (GER)

 

Women

  1. Almaz Ayana (ETH)
  2. Maria Lasitskene (ANA)
  3. Hellen Obiri (KEN)
  4. Sally Pearson (AUS)
  5. Sandra Perkovic (CRO)
  6. Brittney Reese (USA)
  7. Caster Semenya (RSA)
  8. Ekaterini Stefanidi (GRE)
  9. Nafissatou Thiam (BEL)
  10. Anita Wlodarczyk (POL)

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Story By Matthews Mutai
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