Sifan Hassan one of five record-breakers on shortlist for Female World Athlete of the Year

Dutch long-distance star broke two world records in 2020 with four other history-makers also on the 10-strong list of nominees.

By Rory Jiwani and ZK Goh

Outdoor world record-breakers Sifan Hassan, Letesenbet Gidey, Peres Jepchirchir, and Ababel Yeshaneh head the list of 10 nominees for the Female World Athlete of the Year announced on Tuesday (3 November).

Hassan broke the hour record in September, Gidey was part of the NN World Record Day in Valencia at which she set a new 5000m mark, and both Jepchirchir and Yeshaneh re-wrote the books in the half-marathon – Jepchirchir twice in women's-only races, and Yeshaneh the absolute record in a mixed-gender race.

Additionally, Yulimar Rojas, who set a new world indoor record in the triple jump (15.43m), also made the shortlist.

The other five contenders are:

Dutchwoman Femke Bol, who went unbeaten in six races this year over the 400m hurdles and set the world lead of 53.79 seconds;

Faith Kipyegon of Kenya, who won all five of her races this year over varying distances including once over her Rio 2016 gold medal distance of 1500m and held the world leads over 800m and 1000m;

Laura Muir of Great Britain, who did not lose in three races over 1500m and had the world lead of 3:57.40;

Kenya's Hellen Obiri, who ran three races this year over 3000m and 5000m and was undefeated, and had the year's best time of 8:22.54 over 3000m; and

Jamaican Elaine Thompson-Herah, undefeated in the 100m over seven races and whose 10.85s was the world lead in that distance.

The winner will be announced at the World Athletics Awards on Saturday 5 December.

Sifan Hassan

Sifan Hassan had a disappointing first appearance of 2020, dropping out with three laps to go in August's Monaco Diamond League 5000m.

But three weeks later, she made history by breaking the one-hour record in Brussels, racking up a distance of 18,930m inside the King Baudouin Stadium.

In October, she also had a tilt at Almaz Ayana's 10,000m world record set in the Rio 2016 Olympic final.

Poor weather in Hengelo thwarted her bid but she did clock the fourth fastest time in history - 29:36.67 - breaking Paula Radcliffe's 18-year-old European record in the process.

Letesenbet Gidey

The Ethiopian ran just twice in 2020, finishing second on her seasonal debut behind Hellen Obiri in the Monaco Diamond League 5000m.

But her second outing was nothing short of spectacular.

Running in Valencia on NN World Record Day - before Joshua Cheptegei's successful bid for the men's 10,000m record - she smashed compatriot Tirunesh Dibaba's previous 5000m mark by four and a half seconds, clocking 14:06.65.

Peres Jepchirchir and Ababel Yeshaneh

Kenyan Jepchirchir and Ethiopian Yeshaneh are both recognised on the shortlist for their efforts over the half marathon.

Jepchirchir won the World Half Marathon Championships, and broke the women's-only world record twice, lowering it to 1:05:16 in her world championship-winning run in Gdynia, Poland, in October.

Yeshaneh, meanwhile, finished fifth in those championships, but earlier in the year broke the absolute world record in a mixed race at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, clocking 1:04:31.

Yulimar Rojas

The Venezuelan was in fine form in the indoor season in February.

At the end of the World Athletics Indoor Tour season in Madrid, she jumped 15.43m on her final attempt, breaking the old indoor triple jump world record by seven centimetres.

In fact, only one woman has jumped further – indoors or outdoors.


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