7 November 2017

Kenya: Word Champ Hellen Obiri Blasts IAAF Awards Selection

Photo: The Nation
Hellen Obiri (foreground) on her way to winning the 1,500m heat during National Championships at Nyayo Stadium (file photo).

World 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri is not a happy after she was excluded from the final list of three women for the IAAF World Athlete of the Year awards.

Obiri's compatriot World 1,500m champion Elijah Manangoi also failed to make the final list for men's top award.

Manangoi and Obiri, who won the 1,500m and 5,000m titles at the World Championships in London in August this year, were missing from the final list released by the IAAF on Monday after the final round of voting.

Questioning the criteria used to select the final three, Obiri said she was consistent compared to some of the athletes who made the final list.

"I was consistent whole year, winning the World title besides running two fastest times this year in Rome (14:18.37) and Shanghai (14:22.47) in 5,000m," said Obiri, whose performance saw her win the 2017 Diamond League Series in 5,000m/3,000m.

Obiri said she will not lose hoping, adding that her performance next season will help silence her critics.

"It's not fair at all but that inspires me to perform even better next season," said Obiri.

Obiri said she will attempt to reclaim her World Indoor 3,000m title the 2018 Championships in Birmingham in March before attempting the 10,000m title at the Commonwealth Games due April in Gold Coast.

Obiri, the 2016 Rio Olympics 5,000m silver medallist, said she will also compete at the Africa Senior Championships in July 2018 in Nigeria ahead of the Continental Cup.

Olympic 10,000m champion Ethiopian Almaz Ayana, who gold in 10,000m and silver in 5,000m at the World Championships, World pole vault champion Ekaterini Stefanidi (Greece) and Nafissatou Thiam (Belgium), who also won gold in heptathlon at the World Championships, made it in women's contest.

Ayana got 90,000 votes on social media voting while Obiri tied in second place with 6,000.

The World high jump champion Mutaz Essa Barshim from Bahrain, World and Olympic 10,000m champion Mo Farah from Britain and Olympic and World 400m champion Wayde van Niekerk made it to the last three in the men's category.

Manangoi topped the social media voting with 90,000.

The male and female World Athletes of the Year will be announced live on stage at the IAAF Athletics Awards Gala on November 24, this year in Monaco.

A three-way voting process determined the finalists where the IAAF Council and the IAAF Family casted their votes by email, while fans voted online via the IAAF's social media platforms.

The IAAF Council's vote counted for 50 per cent of the result, while the IAAF Family's votes and the public votes each counted for 25 per cent of the final result. Voting closed on October 16.

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