Rio Olympic Games sprint double champions, Usain Bolt and Elaine Thompson, are shortlisted the IAAF Athletes of the Year.

Bolt, who won the sprint double at August’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games, is among three male athletes on the shortlist.

Bolt also helped Jamaica to gold in the men’s 4x100m relay.

Thompson, who became the first Caribbean woman to win the sprint double at the Olympic Games, will face-off with two other women for the top prize. She also helped Jamaica to silver in the 4x100m relay.

Jamaican Omar McLeod, who was nominated, did not make the final cut. McLeod, in his first full professional season, won the World Indoor 60m hurdles and 110m sprint hurdles at the Olympic Games.

“With less than a month to go until the IAAF Athletics Awards 2016, the IAAF can reveal the names of the finalists for the 2016 IAAF World Athlete of the Year awards,” the IAAF said in a statement this morning (November 9).

The finalists are (in alphabetical order):

Usain Bolt (JAM)
Mo Farah (GBR)
Wayde van Niekerk (RSA)

Almaz Ayana (ETH)
Elaine Thompson (JAM)
Anita Wlodarczyk (POL)

The finalists were determined by a three-way voting process. The IAAF Council’s vote counted for 50% of the result, the IAAF Family’s* vote counted for 25% and a public vote, conducted via social media, counted for 25% of the final result.

The World Athletes of the Year will be announced live on stage at the IAAF Athletics Awards 2016.


*IAAF Family: IAAF member federations, IAAF Committee members, IAAF meeting directors, IAAF athlete ambassadors, athletes’ representatives, top athletes, members of the international press, IAAF staff members and the IAAF’s official partners.

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Anthony Foster is a renowned Jamaican sports journalist, honored twice as the Jamaica sports journalist of the year (in 2004 and 2005). His journalistic achievements are globally recognized. Notably, he authored an award-winning article on Usain Bolt, the iconic 6-time Olympic champion, 11-time World champion, and record holder for the sprint double. This significant piece was published in the Jamaica Gleaner in 2004. Anthony's extensive coverage includes prestigious events such as the Olympic Games in Beijing 2008, London 2012, and Rio 2016. He has also provided coverage for seven (7) World Athletics Championships held between 2007 and 2022, alongside various other international sporting events. Noteworthy mentions comprise his coverage of the 2007 World Cup of cricket and his cherished experience reporting on the 2004 clash between his favorite football team, Argentina, and the USA.


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