Usain Bolt and Mo Farah Among IAAF World Athlete of the Year Contenders

While Almaz Ayana and Elaine Thompson are up for the women’s award.

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Jamaican icon Usain Bolt, arguably the greatest distance runner ever in Mo Farah and South Africa’s star sprinter Wayde van Niekerk are all up for IAAF’s Male World Athlete of the Year. Usain is coming off another stellar year where he earned his third gold medals in the 100m and 200m at the Olympics in Rio, becoming the first athlete to do so in both events. He finished his international showing with a win in the 4×100, finishing his Olympic career with a 100% win record in finals. At 33, Great Britain’s Mo Farah didn’t show any sign of slowing down as he took home two Olympic gold medals this year, for the 5,000m and 10,000m events, while Wayde van Niekerk broke Michael Johnson’s 17-year 400m record with a time of 43.03 seconds.

As for the women’s award, Ethiopia’s young long-distance sensation Almaz Ayana, Jamaica’s sprinting pride Elaine Thompson and world-recorder hammer thrower Anita Wlodarczyk from Poland are among the nominees. Ayana broke the 23-year-old record for the 10,000m this past Olympiad, breaking the previous mark by a whole 14 seconds. Elaine Thompson took home Olympic gold in the 100m and 200m events, while Wlodarczyk became the first woman in history to throw the hammer over 80m, setting the WR at 82.98m.

The awards will be presented in Monaco on December 2.

American decathlete Ashton Eaton and Ethiopian middle- and long-distance runner Genzebe Dibaba took home the awards last year.

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