Semenya snubbed as IAAF announces athlete of the year finalists


JOHANNESBURG, November 19 – Despite a season in which she was unbeaten and set yet another national record in the women’s 800m, South Africa’s Caster Semenya was not one of the five finalists for female World Athlete of the Year announced by the IAAF on Monday.

Semenya was one of the initial 10 nominees for female World Athlete of the Year announced last month.

Semenya in 2018 was unbeaten in her nine 800m finals including the Commonwealth Games, African Championships, Diamond League final and Continental Cup.

She is also Commonwealth champion at 1500m, African Champion at 400m and has set world leading times this year in the 800m and 1000m.

Despite her incredible achievements this season, the IAAF still did not include the 27-year-old Semenya in the final list. The IAAF are seeking to introduce new regulations which will force athletes with hyperandrogenism to take testosterone-lowering medication in order to keep competing.

Instead, Kenya’s Beatrice Chepkoech is the only African representative among the five finalists. This season Chepkoech set a new world steeplechase record and was the winner of seven out of eight steeplechase finals including the IAAF Continental Cup, African Championships and IAAF Diamond League final.

The other finalists are Dina Asher-Smith (Britain‚ sprinter)‚ Caterine Ibarguen (Colombia‚ horizontal jumps)‚ Shaunae Miller-Uibo (Bahamas‚ sprinter)‚ Nafissatou Thiam (Belgium‚ heptathlon & high jump).

A three-way voting process determined the finalists.

The IAAF Council and the IAAF Family cast their votes by email, while fans voted online via the IAAF’s social media platforms. The IAAF Council’s vote counted for 50 percent of the result, while the IAAF Family’s votes and the public votes each counted for 25 percent of the final result. Voting closed on November 12.

The male and female World Athletes of the Year will be announced live on stage at the IAAF Athletics Awards 2018 on December 4 in Monaco. (ANA)