Four African athletes – Genzebe Dibaba, Jairus Birech, Nijel Amos and Dennis Kimetto – are among the 20 athletes shortlisted for this year’s IAAF World Athlete of the year.
According to the world athletics governing body, IAAF, also included in the shortlist, released on Friday, are athletes from other parts of the world, among them American sprinter Justin Gatlin.
In all, IAAF released the names of 10 men and 10 women who would be in the race for the athletics world’s most prestigious award.
Dibaba, an Ethiopian, is the only female African athlete shortlisted. She was the World Indoor 3000m champion, Continental Cup 5000m champion, among other achievements.
Birech, a Kenyan, is the Diamond Race Steeplechase winner, World leader, Continental Cup champion and African champion.
Amos, from Botswana, is the Diamond Race winner, World leader, Continental Cup winner, African and Commonwealth champion.
Kenya’s Kimetto last Sunday broke the World Marathon record at the BMW Berlin Marathon with a time of 2 hours, two minutes and 57 seconds.
The candidates have been selected by an international panel of athletics experts which include representatives from all six continental areas of the IAAF.
An email poll involving the World Athletics Family began on Friday and will close on Oct. 16.
At the conclusion of the voting process, three male and three female finalists will be selected and announced by the IAAF.
The Council of the International Athletics Foundation will then select the male and female winners, with the announcement taking place live on stage during the 2014 World Athletics Gala on Nov. 21