MONACO, CMC – Jamaica sprinter Elaine Thompson-Herah is one of five athletes shortlisted for the Female World Athlete of the Year award.
The sport’s international governing body, World Athletics announced on Tuesday that Thompson-Herah, Letesenbet Gidey of Ethiopia, Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands, Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya and Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela were the five finalists for the award.
Though the COVID-19 pandemic substantially curtailed the international track & field calendar for the year, Thompson-Herah was undefeated over seven 100 metres races.
She logged a World-leading time of 10.85 seconds over the distance at a Diamond League meet in Rome, Italy, and clocked 10.87 secs in her final race of the season in Doha, Qatar.
Thompson-Herah, 28, the 2016 Olympic sprint double champion, will face stiff competition to clinch the award because the other four athletes produced brilliant performances across a range of disciplines.
Gidey set a world record of 14 minutes, 06.62 seconds over 5000m at the World Record Day meet this past October in Valencia, Spain, improving on Tirunesh Dibaba’s 12-year-old mark of by more than four seconds, and was second over the distance at the Diamond League meet this past August in Monaco.
Hassan finished a world record of 18,930m in the one-hour run at the Diamond League meet in Brussels this past September and established a European record of 29 mins, 36.67 secs over 10,000m, the fourth fastest performance in history, on home soil in Hengelo this past October.
Jepchirchir, one of the favourites, won the world half marathon title this past October in Gdynia, Poland, and reset the world record for a women’s only race twice during the season, running 1 hour, 5 minutes, 34 seconds this past September in the Czech Republic city of Prague and 1:05:16 in the world half marathon race.
Rojas, another strong contender, was undefeated in four triple jump competitions indoors and outdoors and broke the world indoor triple jump record with a distance of 15.43m at a World Athletics Indoor Tour meet in February this year in Madrid.
The male and female World Athletes of the Year awards will be announced “live” at the World Athletics Awards 2020 to be staged as a virtual event on Saturday, December 5, and webcast “live” on the World Athletics YouTube channel, its Facebook page and via Twitter.
A three-way voting process determined the finalists. The World Athletics Council and the World Athletics Family cast their votes by email, while fans voted online via social media platforms.
The Council’s vote counted for 50 percent of the result, while the Athletics Family’s votes and the public votes each counted for 25 percent of the final result.