THE WORLD’S governing body for track and field is not the only organisation to name Elaine Thompson Herah as Female Athlete of the Year.
Just days after World Athletics crowned the Jamaican sprinter queen of the sport for 2021, an influential British journal did the same. This time, readers of Athletics Weekly put her on the throne in a poll by the magazine.
The readers’ poll picked Thompson Herah, who retained her 100m and 200m Olympic titles in Tokyo, as its International Female Athlete of the Year, ahead of Dutch distance queen Sifan Hassan and repeat Olympic 1500-metre gold medallist Faith Kipyegon.
Results of the poll were posted to the Athletics Weekly website.
Reflecting on a season where she lowered her best times to 10.54 and 21.53 seconds, Thompson Herah said: “I’ve never been this fast. I’m very happy with what I’ve accomplished in 2021.”
The magazine said: “She proved an emphatic winner of this category with twice as many votes as runner-up Sifan Hassan.”
In addition, the readers voted to select the Jamaican’s clocking of 10.54 seconds in Eugene as the Performance of the Year.
Thompson Herah, Hassan, who won three individual medals in Tokyo, with two of them golden, and Kipyegon, were among the five finalists for the World Athletics Award.
Karsten Warholm, the World Athletics Male Athlete of the Year, did not fare as well as the Jamaican.
Warholm, the super 400-metre hurdler from Norway, was third overall in the eyes of the Athletics Weekly readers.
They placed repeat Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya on top, with Canada’s Andre De Grasse, the Tokyo winner in the men’s 200 metres, the runner-up.
Christine Mboma of Namibia was named International Junior Female Athlete of the Year after a campaign that saw her finish second to Thompson Herah in the women’s 200-metre Olympic final and first at the World Under-20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya.
“I’m so grateful to Athletics Weekly for this award,” said Mboma. “I couldn’t have imagined a better year for my first international season.”
Mboma set a world under-20 record of 21.81 seconds, pursuing Thompson Herah in Tokyo.
The winner of the International Junior Male Athlete vote was France’s Sasha Zhoya, who beat Jamaica’s Vashaun Vascianna in Nairobi with a world under-20 record in the 110-metre hurdles – 12.72 seconds.
Zhoya was happy to win the vote, but has his eyes on the future.
“If I can put my name in the senior books and do well at a major championships, then I can look back at what I did as a junior in the regard that (it) was progression to my full career,” Zhoya reasoned.