NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 3 – World champion Hellen Obiri is targeting to make the top three short-list after being named in the nominees for the IAAF World Athlete of the Year awards.
This is the first time the 27-year-old Olympic silver medallist in the women’s 5000m is being nominated for the prestigious award and speaking to Capital Sport on Tuesday, she said she deserved it after having a scintillating season.
Apart from storming to her first ever world title in London where she won the women’s 5000m gold after stunning Ethiopian star Almaz Ayana, Obiri crowned her brilliant season with winning the Diamond League trophy and Sh5.1m.
With the women’s category having a list of 11 other successful athletes including Ayana who won the 10,000m world title, Caster Semenya of South Africa who reclaimed her 800m title and won bronze on her 1500m debut as well as Australian veteran Sally Pearson who made a comeback from injury to win gold 100m Hurdles, Obiri is targeting to make the top three short-list.
“I feel happy to make the shortlist. It is my first time and I feel honoured. If I make it to the final top three I will be very happy. I hope for the best because we have the best in the nominees. I urge my fans to vote for me online when IAAF opens it for the public voting,” Obiri told Capital Sport.
“I deserve it because I have had a memorable season where from January I did well and closed the season well,” Obiri added.
Obiri, the 2012 World Indoor Champion, is the fasted woman in the 5000m this season after setting a new Kenyan Record of 14:18.37 in Rome.
The nomination comes four days after Obiri was elected the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) athlete representative alongside rugby veteran Humphrey Kayange.
Also in the list is Elijah Manangoi who had a successful season after upsetting three-time world champion Asbel Kiprop to win his first ever 1500m world title in London as well as setting World Leads in the 2017 IAAF Diamond League season.
“I’m happy I have been nominated for the 2017 IAAF World Athlete of the year. The IAAF Athletics Awards Gala will be held in Monaco in November. Fans can vote for me online via the IAAF’S social media Platforms,” Manangoi wrote on his Facebook page.
For the first in the history of the awards launched in 1989, social media votes will count towards the final tallying that will determine the final shortlist of three female and three male athletes who will be invited for the World Gala in Monaco.
The voting exercise will close on October 16.
Mutaz Essa Barshim (QAT) high jump; Pawel Fajdek (POL) hammer; Mo Farah (GBR) 10,000m; Sam Kendricks (USA) pole vault; Elijah Manangoi (KEN) 1,500m; Luvo Manyonga (RSA) long jump; Omar McLeod (JAM) 110m hurdles; Christian Taylor (USA) triple jump; Wayde van Niekerk (RSA) 400m; Johannes Vetter (GER) javelin.
Almaz Ayana (ETH) 10,000m; Maria Lasitskene (RUS – competing as a neutral) high jump; Hellen Obiri (KEN) 5,000m; Sally Pearson (AUS) 100m hurdles; Sandra Perkovic (CRO) discus; Brittney Reese (USA) long jump; Caster Semenya (RSA) 800m; Ekaterini Stefanidi (GRE) pole vault; Nafissatou Thiam (BEL) heptathlon; Anita Wlodarczyk (POL) hammer.