Our Sally Pearson for World Athlete of the Year

Australian sprint hurdler Sally Pearson has been shortlisted for the 2011 World Athlete of the Year award while the men’s list is predictably headed by Jamaican sprint kings Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) announced on Tuesday.

World champion Pearson lost only one race all year, falling while leading the field in the last race of the season.

Blake won the world championships 100m title in Daegu last month when his world record-holding compatriot was disqualified for a false start.

And the duo sprinted to landmark times at the Diamond League last month, Bolt running the fastest 100m this year and Blake the second fastest 200m in history.

Britain’s Mo Farah has also made the cut after the 28-year-old won world gold in the 5,000 metres in South Korea and claimed silver in a closely fought 10,000m.

Also included are Kenya’s marathon world record holder Patrick Makau, middle-distance runner David Rudisha, German discus thrower Robert Harting, Japanese hammer thrower Koji Murofushi and Grenadian sprinter Kirani James.

American triple-jumper Christian Taylor and compatriot Jesse Williams, who competes in the high jump, also made the shortlist.

The women’s list includes three Russians…world heptathlete champion Tatyana Chernova, high jumper Anna Chicherova and javelin thrower Maria Abakumova – American duo Lashinda Demus and Carmelita Jeter, New Zealand shot-putter Valerie Adams and Jamaican sprinter Veronica Campbell-Brown.

The Africans are Kenyan long distance runner Vivian Cheruiyot and Botswanan 400m runner Amantle Montsho, who won her country’s first ever gold medal at the world championships.

The 10 male and 10 female candidates have been selected by an IAAF panel of eight experts with the winners to be announced on November 12.

by Terence Johns


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