Caster Semenya was unbeaten in 2018. Photo: Jean-Christophe Bott/EPA
Caster Semenya was unbeaten in 2018. Photo: Jean-Christophe Bott/EPA

Dominant Caster Semenya surprisingly misses out on IAAF Athlete of the Year short-list

By MICHAEL SHERMAN Time of article published Nov 19, 2018

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

Semenya was one of the initial 10 nominees announced last month.

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

She is also Commonwealth champion at 1 500m, African champion at 400m and has set world leading times this year in the 800m and 1 000m.

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 and 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 at the IAAF Athletics Awards on December 4 in Monaco.

African News Agency (ANA)

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