NEW YORK WEATHER

Prize for most significant feat?
or Career award?

IAAF and the athletics community have voted for the Athletes of the Year!
The outcome was a victory for Almaz Ayana and Usain Bolt.

On the one hand, the victory of 10,000 metres Ethiopian runner who broke the World Record by 14 seconds at the Rio Olympic Games was in no way unexpected. Especially when the Diamond League saw her threaten the 5000 metres WR so often (every time she ran the distance).

On the other hand, Usain Bolt, Mo Farah and Wayde van Niekerk were contenders for the prize of the best male athlete.

Mo Farah was, just like Bolt in a position of recognition for his long streak of medals in international competitions. However, Usain Bolt clearly surpasses the English when we compare the winning streaks of both: Bolt has been invincible since 2008 (with exception of the 2011 false start) and Farah “only” since 2011.
The Jamaican’s position when nominated for the award is of the first man to ever win the same athletics event Olympic final three times, the one with the most Olympic golds ever, the one to have done everything that no one else has dreamed of…

But is recognizing a brilliant Olympic career that now culminates in the Rio Games the actual objective of the Award?

The South African Van Niekerk appears as “the amateur” in these stages, having broken the 400-metres 17-year-standing WR for 0.15 seconds right after being in the limelight for the first time the previous year. Also, he’s become the first person to ever run the 100, 200 and 400 metres in under 10, 20 and 44 seconds, respectively.

Honestly, I believe that the latter has achieved much more remarkable individual feats during the current year.

Shaving such a fraction of second from such a long-standing record is, in the general opinion of spectators, of greater difficulty, compared to running the 100 and 200 metres in 9.81 and 19.78 seconds, just like Bolt did this summer.

Even Bolt must know how his own times are far from the limits of human speed, as he was the one to have run the WRs 7 years ago.
Contrarily to that, Van Niekerk doesn’t know where the limits of speed for the full-lap event are, as he is the one in the process of discovering it.

The final awardee of the prize was most likely attributed to the Jamaican due to the impact of online voting through facebook and the comparatively imense popularity of “the Lightning”.

Personally, my Athlete of the Year was Wayde van Niekerk!

Hopefully, he will show us again that he is the deserving winner of such a prize!

(Photo: Getty Images)

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