Uganda’s star runner Joshua Cheptegei has said he is happy to be on the final list for the prestigious Men’s World Athlete of the Year.
Cheptegei who won gold in the 5000m and silver in the 10,000m during the Tokyo Olympics is among the five top athletes to make the final list.
The World Athletics body announced the five final stars on November 22nd. The five include Cheptegei, Ryan Crouser (USA), Mondo Duplantis (Sweden), Karsten Warholm (Norways) and Kenya’s marathoner Eliud Kipchoge.
Cheptegei will face stiff competition from Crouser who is an Olympic and Diamond League shot put champion and is undefeated the whole year, Duplantis who is the Olympic pole vault champion, Diamond League pole vault champion and European indoor pole vault champion.
Kenya’s Kipchoge will also pose a threat after setting a record of the largest winning margin in men’s Olympic marathon since 1972, while Warholm is also the Olympic 400m hurdles champion, Diamond League 400m hurdles champion and the World 400m hurdles record and world 300m hurdles best.
“I am glad that I have managed to make the final list for these Awards. It is always a good feeling to be picked among the top athletes in the world,” said Chepegei, also the world’s leading athlete for two miles with a time of 8:09.55.
Dominic Otuchet, President of the Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) also could not hide his joy having Cheptegei among the top five that have made the list. “I think Cheptegei has been improving in the last few years and this year he has performed really well and deserves to win the Award,” said Otuchet.
The World Athletics body says a three-way voting process determined the finalists. The World Athletics Council and the World Athletics Family cast their votes by email, while fans voted online via the World Athletics social media platforms. The World Athletics Council’s vote counted for 50% of the result, while the World Athletics Family’s votes and the public votes each counted for 25% of the final result. Voting closed on 6 November.
The male and female World Athletes of the Year will be announced at the World Athletics Awards 2021 to be held virtually on 1 December.
Andrew Jackson ORYADA Snr