Olympic champions Vivian Cheruiyot and Eliud Kipchoge have expressed their gratitude after being nominated among 20 athletes for the 2016 World Athletes of the Year Award.
The two are joined by former winner and Olympic champion David Rudisha (800m) and his 3000m steeplechase counterpart Conseslus Kipruto.
“It is such a nice feeling to be nominated. It shows I am among the best athletes in the world,” said Cheruiyot, who missed on the 2011 crown despite winning the double at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu.
“This is surely an inspiration going forward and it comes just after a week after I started my preparations towards the 2017 World Championships in London.”
Cheruiyot is the only Kenyan female in the women’s list of 10 after winning Kenya’s first Olympics 5000m title in Brazil and setting a new national record while bagging silver in the 10000m.
She remained hopeful that her fans will vote in droves and land her the title. Kipchoge, who won the marathon title for Kenya in Rio attributed his pick to the Olympics success. Kipchoge’s performance landed the country second Olympic Marathon title since Samuel Wanjiru in Beijing 2008,
“This was all about the performance especially at the Olympics,” said Kipchoge. “It is my hope that my fans will vote in large number. It is also a great morale booster going forward.”
Rudisha, who defended his Olympic title in the 800m in Rio was a recipient of the award in 2010 after breaking the world record that season. And just like Kipchoge, it will be the first time for Conseslus to appear in the 10-man strong list.
Kipchoge, Conseslus and Rudisha will battle it out against Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, who will be going for a record sixth award, Britain’s Mo Farah, who defended his distance double in Rio and South African Wayde van Nierkerk who shattered the 400m record.
Cheruiyot has a familiar foe on the list in Kenyan-born Bahraini Ruth Jebet, the Olympics and Diamond League 3000m steeplechase champion as well as 800m Olympic champion Caster Semenya South Africa. 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. 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 November 1, where 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 Awards Night on December 2.
The nominees for 2016 World Athlete of the Year are:
Usain Bolt (JAM)
Thiago Braz da Silva (BRA)
Ashton Eaton (USA)
Mo Farah (GBR)
Eliud Kipchoge (Ken)
Conselsus Kipruto (Ken)
Omar McLeod (Jam)
David Rudisha (Ken)
Christian Taylor (USA)
Wayde van Niekerk (RSA)
Almaz Ayana (Eth)
Ruth Beitia (Esp)
Vivian Cheruiyot (Ken)
Kendra Harrison (USA)
Caterine Ibarguen (Col)
Ruth Jebet (Brn)
Sandra Perkovic (CRO)
Caster Semenya (RSA)
Elaine Thompson (Jam)
Anita Wlodarczyk (Pol)
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