Africa’s long and middle distance powerhouses, Kenya and Ethiopia, dominate the list of nominees for the 2020 Female World Athlete of the Year in the female category.
The list of nominations is a clear reflection of a remarkable range of exceptional performances that the sport has witnessed this year amidst the challenges occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The continent’s two athletics giants have both contributed a half of the 10 nominees that also include Ethiopian-born, naturalised Dutch Sifan Hassan.
World half marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir, who twice broke the world half marathon record for a women-only race (1:05:34 and 1:05:16) leads the three Kenyan nominees and two Ethiopians.
The other Kenyans are Faith Kipyegon, still undefeated in five races over all distances in a season that also saw her ran a world-leading time over 800m (1:57.68) and 1000m (2:29.15), and Hellen Obiri.
Obiri also undefeated in three races over 3000m and 5000m, ran a world-leading 8:22.54 over 3000m.
The world record holder in the 5000m Letesenbet Gidey leads the Ethiopian list that also has Ababel Yeshaneh, who also hosts of the world record in the half marathon.
The other nominees are Femke Bol of Netherlands still undefeated in six 400m hurdles races who also posted the world-leading 53.79 in the 400m hurdle and compatriot Sifan Hassan.
Hassan set a world record of 18,930m in the one hour run, set a European record of 29:36.67 over 10,000m, the fourth fastest performance in history.
Laura Muir who holds both the Great Britain and Northern Ireland passports also made it to the list following her three races undefeated records in 1500m, and a world-leading 3:57.40 over 1500m.
World indoor triple jump record holder Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela who is also undefeated in four triple jump competitions indoors and outdoors is also in the list Elaine of Jamaica. The Jamaican is also undefeated in seven 100m races and posted a world-leading 10.85 over 100m.
The World Athletics Council and the World Athletics Family will cast their votes by email, while fans can vote online via the World Athletics’ social media platforms.
The World Athletics Council’s vote will count for 50% of the result, while the World Athletics Family’s votes and the public votes will each count for 25% of the final result.
Voting for the Female World Athlete of the Year closes at midnight on Sunday 15 November.
At the conclusion of the voting process, five men and five women finalists will be announced by World Athletics.
The Awards will take place virtually on 5 December.