Obiri, Manangoi nominated for Athletes of the Year Award

Monday October 2 2017

Kenya's Hellen Obiri celebrates as she crosses the finish line to win the women's 5000m race during the AG Insurance Memorial Van Damme athletics event, the last meeting of the IAAF Diamond League competition, on September 1, 2017 in Brussels. PHOTO | LAURIE DIEFFEMBACQ |

Kenya's Hellen Obiri celebrates as she crosses the finish line to win the women's 5000m race during the AG Insurance Memorial Van Damme athletics event, the last meeting of the IAAF Diamond League competition, on September 1, 2017 in Brussels. PHOTO | LAURIE DIEFFEMBACQ |  AFP

By BRIAN YONGA
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Kenya’s Hellen Obiri and Elijah Manangoi have been nominated for the 2017 World Athletes of the Year Award.

The duo are part of a list of 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 released on Monday.

The winners will be announced at the IAAF Athletics Awards 2017 in Monaco on November 24 this year.

The two Kenyans had a stellar season winning gold in the women’s 5,000m as well as the men’s 1,500 at the World Championships held in London in August this year. The Olympic 5,000m silver medallist went on to win a maiden Diamond League trophy after five wins in the Diamond League this season.

Obiri became the first Kenyan to win the 5,000m series since Mercy Cherono in 2014. She will come up against the World and Olympic 10,000m record holder Almaz Ayana, whom she beat in London as well as Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya of South Africa.

Manangoi on the other hand led a Kenyan 1-2 in the men's 1500m in London upstaging teammate Asbel Kiprop. It was an improvement for the 24-year-old policeman, who won silver at the 2015 Beijing World Championships

Kenya's Elijah Motonei Managoi (right) celebrates as he wins, ahead of France's Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad (left), the men's 1500m race at the AG Insurance Memorial Van Damme athletics event, the last meeting of the IAAF Diamond League competition, on September 1, 2017 in Brussels. PHOTO | ERIC LALMAND |

Kenya's Elijah Motonei Managoi (right) celebrates as he wins, ahead of France's Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad (left), the men's 1500m race at the AG Insurance Memorial Van Damme athletics event, the last meeting of the IAAF Diamond League competition, on September 1, 2017 in Brussels. PHOTO | ERIC LALMAND |AFP

Managoi faces a battle for the top prize as he is pitted against Great Britain’s distance running great Mo Farah, men’s 400m World Champion South African Wayde van Niekerk among others.

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 percent of the result, while the IAAF Family’s votes and the public votes will each count for 25 percent of the final result.

Voting closes on October 16. At the conclusion of the voting process, three men and three women finalists will be announced by the IAAF.

The male and female World Athletes of the Year will be announced live on stage at the IAAF Athletics Awards 2017.

NOMINEES

Men

Mutaz Essa Barshim (QAT)

Pawel Fajdek (POL)

Mohamed Farah (GBR)

Sam Kendricks (USA)

Elijah Manangoi (KEN)

Luvo Manyonga RSA)

Omar McLeod (JAM)

Christian Taylor (USA)

Wayde van Niekerk (RSA)

Johannes Vetter (GER)

Women

Almaz Ayana (ETH)

Maria Lasitskene (ANA)

Hellen Obiri (KEN)

Sally Pearson (AUS)

Sandra Perkovic (CRO)

Brittney Reese (USA)

Caster Semenya (RSA)

Ekaterini Stefanidi (GRE)

Nafissatou Thiam (BEL)

Anita Wlodarczyk (POL)