“This week marks the opening of the voting process for the 2018 World Athletes of the Year ahead of the IAAF Athletics Awards 2018 in Monaco on Tuesday 4 December.
“The IAAF is pleased to confirm a list of 10 nominees for Female World Athlete of the Year who were selected by an international panel of athletics experts, comprising representatives from all six continental areas of the IAAF,” the world governing body said in a statement published on their website.
Chepkoech shaved the world steeplechase record by eight seconds, backed up by the third-quickest mark of all-time as she became the first woman to dip under 8:50 and 8:45 in the women’s water and barriers race.
Her barnstorming season saw her win seven out of eight steeplechase finals including the Continental Cup, African Championships and Diamond League having kicked off her season with silver at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.
No female Kenyan has ever scooped the coveted award, with Beijing 2008 Olympic 800 metres gold medallist and Golden League winner, Pamela Jelimo (2008) and Daegu 2011 Worlds double distance champion, Vivian Cheruiyot (2011) missing out to Yelena Isinbayeva (Russia) and controversially, Sally Pearson (Australia) in that order despite blazing through those campaigns.
South Africa’s Olympic and world champion, Caster Semenya who made the nominees list that will be whittled down to the three finalists who will attend the World Gala in Monaco as the only other athlete from Africa.
Thiam, who was the first Belgian to be conferred with the Female Athlete of the Year accolade, also enjoyed a fruitful season, becoming the European champion, producing a world lead and remained unbeaten at heptathlon besides leaping to the world number three mark at High jump.
Anita Wlodarczyk (Poland), Sandra Perkovic (Croatia), Mariya Lasitskene (Russian competing under neutral flag), Dina-Asher Smith (Great Britain), Caterine Ibarguen (Colombia) and Sifan Hassan (Netherlands) round off the list of nominees.
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, Twitter and Instagram this week; a ‘like’ on Facebook and Instagram or a retweet on Twitter will count as one vote.
The IAAF Council’s vote will count for 50 per cent of the result, while the IAAF Family’s votes and the public votes will each count for 25 per cent of the final result.
Voting for the Female World Athlete of the Year closes on November 12 where at the conclusion of the voting process, the IAAF will announce five men and five women finalists.
The male and female World Athletes of the Year will be announced live on stage at the IAAF Athletics Awards 2018.
The male nominees will be announced on Tuesday.
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