World Athletics, the international organization replacing the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), announced that two Ethiopian athletes were nominated for the World Athlete of the year 2020.

Ethiopian duo Letesenbet Gidey and Ababel Yeshaneh are among the 20 nominees for the World Athletics Award 2020. Eight of the 20 nominees are from Africa.

The two Ethiopian athletes had outstanding performances in 2020, as they both won titles and broke world records. Letesenebet Gidey set a world record of 14:06.62 over 5,000meters, beating her fellow countrywoman Tirunesh Dibaba’s 12 years record. She also came in second in the Monaco Diamond League over 5,000m.

The other nominee, Ababel Yeshaneh, also broke a world record in the half marathon race clocking in at 1:04.31. She also finished fifth in the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships.

Along with the Ethiopian duo, Kenyan Hellen Obiri, Faith kipyegon and Peres Jepchirchir have also been nominated.

Peres Jepchirchir won the World half marathon title, breaking the world half marathon record for women twice clocking in at 1:05.34 and 1:05.16. Her compatriot Faith Kipyegon is also undefeated in five races over all distance races.

Apart from the African nominees, Ethiopian-born Sifan Hassen of the Netherlands is also on the list of nominees. Hassen set a European record of 29:36.67 over 10,000m, the fourth fastest performance in history.

A three-way voting process will determine the finalists with World Athletics, the World Athletics Family and public participating in the process. Posts and retweets by fans of the individual graphics for each nominee that has been posted on facebook, twitter and Instagram will count as one vote.  

The World Athletics Council’s vote will count for 50 percent of the result, while the World Athletics Family’s votes and the publics’ votes will each count for 25 percent of the final result.

Voting for the World Athletes of the Year closes at midnight on Sunday, November 15, 2020. At the conclusion of the voting process, five men and five women finalists will be announced by World Athletics.

The male and female World Athletes of the Year will be announced live at the World Athletics Awards 2020 on Saturday, December 5, 2020. 

It is to be recalled that Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana was named Female World Athlete of the year at the IAAF Awards in 2016. Almaz became the third Ethiopian woman to win the award, following Genzebe Dibaba in 2015 and Meseret Defar in 2007.




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