Olympic medalist Joshua Cheptegei revels in the moment with his two medals upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport

Ugandan long distance runner Joshua Cheptegei has been nominated for the 2021 Male World Athlete of the Year.

The 25-year old claimed gold and silver at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in the men’s 5000m and 10,000m respectively to earn his spot as one of the greatest this year.

In addition to the two accolades, he also won and posted world-leading 8:09.55 for two miles at the Prefontaine Classic Meet of the Diamond League in Eugene, Oregon.

For Cheptegei to make the 10-man shortlist, he was vetted by an “international panel of athletics experts, comprising representatives from all six continental areas of World Athletics.”

He was nominated alongside Swedish Olympic pole vault champion Mondo Duplantis, Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge among others for the award.

According to World Athletics, a three-way voting process will determine the finalists, that is to say; “The World Athletics Council and the World Athletics Family will cast their votes by email, while fans can vote online via the World Athletics social media platforms.

“The World Athletics Council’s vote will count for 50% of the result, while the World Athletics Family’s votes and the public votes will each count for 25% of the final result.

Joshua Cheptegei shows off his Gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics Credit: Christel Saneh

“The male and female World Athletes of the Year will be announced live at the World Athletics Awards 2021 in December.”

Last year, Cheptegei was nominated for the same award for breaking world records at 5000m (12:35.36), 10,000m (26:11.00), 5km on the roads (12:51) and finishing 4th at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships.

He however missed out, Duplantis winning the accolade for smashing the world record in the pole vault twice, topping 6.17m and 6.18m on back-to-back weekends in February 2020.

The nominees for 2021 Male World Athlete of the Year are (in alphabetical order) via World Athletics:

Joshua Cheptegei, UGA
– Olympic 5000m champion
– Olympic 10,000m silver medallist
– World-leading 8:09.55 for two miles

Ryan Crouser, USA
– Olympic and Diamond League shot put champion
– Undefeated all year
– World shot put records indoors and outdoors

Mondo Duplantis, SWE
– Olympic pole vault champion
– Diamond League pole vault champion
– European indoor pole vault champion

Jakob Ingebrigtsen, NOR
– Olympic 1500m champion
– European indoor 1500m champion
– European 1500m and 5000m records

Eliud Kipchoge, KEN
– Olympic marathon champion
– Largest winning margin in men’s Olympic marathon since 1972
– Winner of Enschede Marathon

Pedro Pichardo, POR
– Olympic triple jump champion
– Diamond League triple jump champion
– European indoor triple jump champion

Daniel Stahl, SWE
– Olympic discus champion
– Diamond League discus champion
– Threw world-leading 71.40m

Miltiadis Tentoglou, GRE
– Olympic long jump champion
– European indoor long jump champion
– Jumped world-leading 8.60m

Damian Warner, CAN
– Olympic decathlon champion
– Winner at the Götzis Hypo Meeting
– National and Olympic record of 9018, moved to fourth on the world all-time list

Karsten Warholm, NOR
– Olympic 400m hurdles champion 
– Diamond League 400m hurdles champion
– World 400m hurdles record and world 300m hurdles best

Deputy Editor at Kawowo Sports. He is an aspiring Sport Psychologist.

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