Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
9 Nov 2016
5:30 pm

Van Niekerk among finalists for international award

Wesley Botton

Sprint sensation Wayde van Niekerk has been named as one of three finalists for the IAAF Male Athlete of the Year award.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 14: Wayde van Niekerk of South Africa after winning the mens 400m final and set a new world record of 43.03 seconds during the evening session on Day 9 Athletics of the 2016 Rio Olympics at Olympic Stadium on August 14, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Roger Sedres/Gallo Images)

Van Niekerk, who broke the 400m world record to win gold at the Rio Olympics, joined Jamaican speedster Usain Bolt and British distance runner Mo Farah among the final nominees for the prestigious accolade, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) revealed in a statement on Wednesday.

The shortlist was determined by a voting process which involved IAAF members and fans.

While Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya had been included among nine nominees for the prestigious women’s award, she did not make the final cut, with Ethiopian distance runner Almaz Ayana, Jamaican sprinter Elaine Thompson and Polish hammer thrower Anita Wlodarczyk all receiving the nod.

The winners would be announced at a gala ceremony in Monaco on December 2, the IAAF confirmed, with Van Niekerk hoping to become the first SA athlete in 13 years to receive the global accolade.