Nairobi — Kenya’s Peres Jepchirchir has made the shortlist for the World Athletics female Athlete of the Year Award, as she looks to become the first ever Kenyan woman to clinch the prestigious crown.
The World Half Marathon title holder made it to the final shortlist alongside Ethiopia’s Letsenbet Gidey, Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands, Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas and Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah.
The two other Kenyans in the preliminary list of 10, Hellen Obiri and Faith Kipyegon did not make the final shortlist.
Public voting ended on November 15, before the final shortlist of five was announced ahead of the Awards gala to be staged on December 5.
The World Athletics Council and the World Athletics Family cast their votes by email, while fans voted online via our social media platforms. The Council’s vote counted for 50pc of the result, while the Athletics Family’s votes and the public votes each counted for 25pc of the final result.
Jepchirchir had a successful year, having broken the world record twice in the half marathon, including at the World Championship in Gdynia, Poland, where she clocked 1:05:16 to win the title. She lowered her previous mark of 1:05:34 set in September in Valencia.
She comes up against formidable competition with Ethiopian Gidey having set a world record of 14:06.62 over 5000m in a time trial.
Meanwhile, Venezuelan Rojas is undefeated in four triple jump competitions both indoors and outdoors and also broke the world indoor triple jump record with 15.43m.
Jamaican sprinter Thompson-Herah has had an equally successful season, and is undefeated in seven 100m races.