American sprinter Justin Gatlin, unbeaten this season, is a candidate for IAAF World Athlete of the Year.
Ten years after winning the 100 metres at the 2004 Athens Olympics, Gatlin’s time of 9.77 seconds was a world best in 2014. The 32-year-old racer also had a world-leading 200 time of 19.68 as Usain Bolt had a quiet season between world championships years.
The IAAF’s 10-man list also includes marathon world record holder Dennis Kimetto of Kenya and pole vault indoor record holder Renaud Lavillenie of France. Lavillenie cleared 6.16 metres to take Sergei Bubka’s 21-year-old mark as the Ukrainian great watched in his home city of Donetsk in February.
For the women’s award, the 10 candidates include runner Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia, shot putter Valerie Adams of New Zealand, and discus thrower Sandra Perkovic of Croatia.
Dibaba set world indoor records at 1 500 and 3 000 metres, and won indoor world gold at 3 000. Adams was unbeaten while winning gold at the indoor worlds and Commonwealth Games. Perkovic’s European title-winning 71.08-metre throw was the best in the world for 22 years.
Voting is open until October 16 for athletes, officials, member federations and media to decide three finalists for each award.
The winners will be chosen by the IAAF’s ruling council and announced on November 21 at the annual awards gala in Monaco.
Men: Nigel Amos (Botswana), Mutaz Essa Barshim (Qatar), Jairus Kipchoge Birech (Kenya), Bogdan Bondarenko (Ukraine), Yohann Diniz (France), Justin Gatlin (United States), Robert Harting (Germany), Dennis Kimetto (Kenya), Renaud Lavillenie (France), LaShawn Merritt (United States).
Women: Valerie Adams (New Zealand), Genzebe Dibaba (Ethiopia), Dawn Harper Nelson (United States), Caterine Ibarguen (Colombia), Francena McCorory (United States), Sandra Perkovic (Croatia), Dafne Schippers (Netherlands), Kaliese Spencer (Jamaica), Barbora Spotakova (Czech Republic), Anita Wlodarczyk (Poland).
Source: Supersport & AFP