The annual World Athletics Gala is approaching this month and the IAAF have announced a shortlist for Male Athlete of the Year including world stars Usain Bolt and Mo Farah and Ukraine’s high jump sensation Bohdan Bondarenko.
Usain Bolt (Jamaica)
Bolt has won the award four times in the last five years, making him the most successful athlete ever in the eyes of the IAAF. This year, whilst not the most outstanding of his career, amounted in another triple gold sweep at the World Championships in Moscow, increasing his amazing all-time tally to eight gold medals. Furthermore, Bolt registered a 100m/200m combination of 9.77s and 19.66s, sprint times good enough to top the World Rankings with the exclusion of Tyson Gay.
Bohdan Bondarenko (Ukraine)
Perhaps not a global superstar like the other two athletes who made the shortlist, Bodarenko gained huge popularity among the athletics community as he soared to new heights in the high jump this year. Taking the Diamond League by storm, he won the Sainsbury’s Grand Prix (2.36m), London Anniversary Games (2.38m) and the Athletissima meet in Lausanne (2.41m), gaining a National record and World Lead status. Bondarenko equaled his 2.41m PB in Moscow, breaking the Championship record and gaining his first senior world title. The next few years look to be exciting for the 24 year-old.
Mo Farah (Great Britain)
Mo Farah has had another great year of athletics, cementing himself as one of the greatest distance runners of all time. With another 5,000m and 10,000m double gold this year, Farah picked up his fourth and fifth global titles and was dubbed ‘Britain’s greatest ever athlete’ by Brendan Foster (BBC).
A nice surprise along the route to his success at this year’s world championships was his British 1500m record of 3mins 28.81s. Farah broke Steve Cram’s 28year-old record and made him one of the only men to break both the 3mins30s and 13mins barriers in the 1500m and 5000m disciplines.
The winners of the award will be announced in Monaco on November 16th along with the Female Athlete of the Year, which features shot put star Valerie Adams, sprint champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and the dominant force in one lap hurdling Zuzana Hejnova.
Tweet us @VincoSport and tell us who wins your pick and why.