by Paul Reid
Jamaica Observer | Tuesday, October 09, 2012
INDIVIDUAL Olympic gold medallists Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce,as well as relay gold medallist Yohan Blake, have been listed among the finalists for the IAAF male and female Athlete of the Year to be named next month.
Bolt, who retained his double sprint titles in London while lowering his own Olympic record in the 100m to 9.63 seconds, and Blake, are among the 10 male athletes named, including Grenada's Olympic 400m champion Kirani James.
Fraser-Pryce, who also retained her Olympic 100m title, is the only Caribbean female athlete on the list of 10. The list will be shortened to three each in each category after the first round of voting, while the winners will be announced at the annual IAAF banquet to be held in Barcelona, Spain on November 24.
Those eligible to vote are IAAF and IAF Council Members, IAAF Member Federations, IAAF Committee and Commission Members, One-Day meeting directors, IAAF Ambassadors, athletes' representatives, top athletes, selected international media and IAAF Staff Members.
The vote closes on October 28, after which the top three athletes in each category will be invited to the IAAF's Gala in Barcelona where the technical committee will vote on the winners.
Blake won three medals in London silver in both the 100m and 200m and as gold in the 4x100m, along with Bolt while Fraser-Pryce added a relay silver medal.
The others on the Men's list are British double long-distance London winner Mo Farah, American decathlon gold medallist Ashton Eaton, German discus Olympic and European title-holder Robert Harting, Renaud Lavillenie (pole vault/France), Aries Meritt (110m hurdles/USA) and Christian Taylor (triple jump/USA).
On the Women's side, former winner Tirunesh Dibaba, 100m-hurdler Sally Pearson, Valerie Adams (shot put/New Zealand), Jessica Ennis (heptathlon/Britain), Allyson Felix (200m/USA), Yelena Lashmanova (20km race walking/Russia), Brittney Reese (long jump/USA), Sanya Richard-Ross (400m/USA) and Barbora Spotakova (javelin/Czech Republic) have been included.