The IAAF has announced the finalists for the 2016 World Athlete of the Year Awards. This announcement comes one month away from the final decision and the governing body has given the names of three men and three women who have been nominated for the spot.
In narrowing it down to these six individuals, the organization had a three-way vote. Of that, 50 per cent was determined by the IAAF council, 25 per cent went to a public vote over social media, and 25 per cent came from the IAAF family– a group which consists of members, athletes, athlete ambassadors, partners, members of the international press, etc.
Of those listed are two runners who set world records at this year’s Rio Olympic Games. Wayde van Neikerk, the South African sprinter who is trained by his grandmother, took the world by surprise as he set the world record for the 400m. As the world waited for Usain Bolt and Andre De Grasse to battle it out on the track, the South African runner ran 43.03 to break Michael Johnson’s mark from 1999.
Almaz Ayana was the star of the first day in athletics in Rio. The women’s 10,000m race was remarkably fast. The Ethiopian runner took the lead in the race though and ensured that the first run done on the track was a thrilling one. She broke a record that stood for longer than two decades, breaking 30 minutes in the 10K to run 29:17.46 and reset the record set back in 1993.
All six of the finalists are listed below:
Usain Bolt (JAM)
Mo Farah (GBR)
Wayde van Niekerk (RSA)
Almaz Ayana (ETH)
Elaine Thompson (JAM)
Anita Wlodarczyk (POL)