By Uche Amunike
The World Athletics has released the list for nominees for the Women’s World Athlete of the Year Award, 2023, Wednesday, with the exclusion of Nigeria’s track and field star and World record holder’s name, Tobi Amusan.
The nominees are 11 in number with only three Africans in the list. They are Tigist Assefa and Gudaf Tsegay, both from Ethiopia, and Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon.
Recall that Tobi Amusan, who holds the record in the women’s 100m hurdle, made history last year when she became the first Nigerian to be nominated for the Women’s World Athletic of the Year. She, however, lost to 400m hurdles record holder, Sydney McLaughlin.
Last month, Amusan won the 100 meter women’s hurdles in 12.33s to retain her Diamond League title and becoming the second woman in the history of the Diamond League to clinch 300m hurdles titles at a stretch, equaling the record of Dawn Nelson-Harper.
Tobi Amusan’s performance last year was outstanding at the World Championships in Eugene when she won the 100m hurdles gold and broke the record in the semi-finals with a time of 12.12s in the process. She became the first Nigerian world champion and world record holder in an athletics event. She also made the country proud when she won gold medals in the 100m hurdles and the 4×100 meter relays at the Commonwealth Games.
This year’s nominees for the Women’s World Athlete of the Year are headlined by five world record breakers led by Kenya’s World 1500m and 5000m champion, Faith Kipyegon, who set three world records in 2023 in the 1500m, one mile and 5000m. The others include Tigisit Assefa from Ethiopia, Femke Bol, Maria Perez, who is a record holder in the 35km race walk. Gudaf Tsegay, Shericka Jackson from Jamaica, who is a world 200m champion and double sprint Diamond League winner; Haruka Kitaguchi from Japan, who is a World and Diamond League champion; Yaroslava Mahuchikh from Ukrain, who won the High Jump title in Budapest and Eugene; Yulimar Rojas, World and Diamond League Venezuelan triple champion; Sha’Carri Richardson from America, who won the 3000m steeplechase title in Budapest and Eugene, as well as Winfed Yavi from Bahrain who won the 3000m table chase title in Budapest and Eugene.
Recall that Tobi Amusan dropped eight places in the latest ranking of World Athletics.
All voting for the World Athletes of the Year closes at midnight on October 28. The World Athletic Council and the families will vote by e-mail while fans will vote online via the World Athletic social media platforms. The World Athletics Council’s vote will count for 50% of the results, even as the World Athletics families vote and public votes will each count for 25% of the final result.
After the voting process is concluded, finalists will be announced by World Athletics on November 13 to 14, while the winners will be unveiled on the World Athletics social media platforms on December 11.