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2010 World Athletics Gala - Spotlight on Female Finalists

Monte CarloFive women from five different countries and three continents have been shortlisted for the 2010 World Athlete of the Year award.

As none of the five finalists has ever won this prestigious trophy, it will no doubt be an emotional presentation when the announcement is made on the evening of Sunday 21 November at the Salle des Etoiles of the Sporting Club d’Eté in Monaco.

The athlete who came close to winning the award in the past is Croatia’s Blanka Vlasic who was also a finalist in 2007 and 2009. Should Vlasic be crowned next week, she would become only the third high jumper in the 23-year history of the Gala to become Athlete of the Year.

In contention with Vlasic this year are also arch rivals Allyson Felix and Veronica Campbell-Brown; the two sprinters have ironically shared the spotlight at 200m over the past 7 years with the American grabbing the last three World titles and the Jamaican the last two Olympic Games crowns. Once again they find themselves face to face in this race for the glory.

Completing the list of finalists, Milcah Chemos of Kenya would become the first ever steeplechaser to be Athlete of the Year whereas fittingly Great Britain’s Jessica Ennis would succeed World record holder and all-round greatest of all-time Jackie Joyner-Kersee who was the World Athlete of the Year back in 1994.

Let’s now take a closer look at the five female athletes who have been shortlisted for the 2010 Athlete of the Year Award:

What they achieved in 2010…

Veronica Campbell Brown JAM
100 and 200m
- Won the 60m title at the World Indoor Championships
- Set World leading times at 100m (10.78) & 200m (21.98)
- Unbeaten at 200m in 2010

Milcah Chemos Cheywa KEN
3000m Steeplechase
- Won seven out of 11 races at 3000m Steeplechase and was second in her other four outings
- Won the Samsung Diamond Race
- Won the Commonwealth Games
- Set a World leading time of 9:11.71

Jessica Ennis GBR
Combined Events
- Won the Pentathlon title at the World Indoor Championships
- Won the Heptathlon title at the European championships
- Set World leading marks at both Pentathlon (4937) and Heptathlon (6823)

Allyson Felix USA
200 & 400m
- Won the Samsung Diamond Race at 200m and 400m
- Was part of the winning 4x400m team at the World Indoor Championships
- Won in 14 out of her 15 individual races

Blanka Vlasic CRO
High Jump
- Won 18 out of 20 competitions in 2010
- Won the Samsung Diamond race with seven out of seven wins
- Won the World Indoor Championships
- Won the European Championships
- Won the IAAF/VTB Bank Continental Cup
- Tied the World leading performance of 2.05m

The winners of the 2010 World Athlete of the Year Awards will be announced, on stage, during the 2010 World Athletics Gala, which will take place in Monaco, on 21 November 2010. They will be presented their trophies by International Athletic Foundation (IAF) Honorary President HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco and IAF & IAAF President Lamine Diack.