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Kimetto, Birech in IAAF top award list

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KIMETTO-MUTAI-LIMONAIROBI, October 3-New World Record holder, Dennis Kimetto and steeplechase sensation, Jairus Birech Kipchoge are the only Kenyans in the nomination lists for the 2014 IAAF World Athlete of the Year Awards announced Friday.

The shortlist of 20, ten male and ten female athletes will be whittled down to three apiece with the successors to the crowns won by Jamaican sprint pair, Usain Bolt and Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce named by the IAAF at the World Gala in Monaco on November 21.

Kimetto stormed to the apex of men marathon running last Sunday when he became the first man to breach the 2:03 barrier in winning Berlin in 2:02:57*, to obliterate compatriot Wilson Kipsang’s previous standard of 2:03:23 barely a year after it was set at the same course last year.

On his part, Birech, 21 strung nine victories in 13 starts to win the Continental, African and IAAF Diamond League crowns to emerge as the dominant force in men water and barriers race running.

“I’m so delighted to make the shortlist and even though I do not make the final shortlist, it gives me morale to train harder for next year because I want to win the world title,” Birech said Friday when news reached him he had been shortlisted after a commanding season where he ran his 7:58.41 PB to join the ranks of fastest steeplechasers of all time.

“I see myself being at the top for about five years and it is possible to continue competing for ten if I take care of my body,” Kimetto said Wednesday on his arrival in Nairobi before flying to his home village of Kamwosor, Elgeyo Marakwet County for the grandest of homecomings.

The candidates were selected by an international panel of athletics experts which include representatives from all six continental areas of the IAAF.

An email poll involving the World Athletics Family started Friday and will close on October 16.

At the conclusion of the voting process, three male and three female finalists will be selected and announced by the IAAF.

The Council of the International Athletics Foundation will then select the male and female winners, with the announcement taking place live on stage during the World Gala on Friday 21 November 2014.

Kenya did not have a female runner shortlisted for the awards with Bolt and Fraser-Pryce also missing from the shortlist.

*Pending usual IAAF ratification procedures

SHORTLIST

Men

Nigel Amos (BOT)
Mutaz Essa Barshim (QAT)
Jairus Kipchoge Birech (KEN)
Bogdan Bondarenko (UKR)
Yohan Diniz (FRA)
Justin Gatlin (USA)
Robert Harting (GER)
Dennis Kipruto Kimetto (KEN)
Renaud Lavillenie (FRA)
LaShawn Merritt (USA)

Women

Valerie Adams (NZL)
Genzebe Dibaba (ETH)
Dawn Harper Nelson (USA)
Caterine Ibarguen (COL)
Francena McCorory (USA)
Sandra Perkovic (CRO)
Dafne Schippers (NED)
Kaliese Spencer (JAM)
Barbora Spotakova (CZE)
Anita Wlodarczyk (POL)

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