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Joshua Cheptegei is considered by many as favourite to win this year’s World Athletics Awards 2020.
The Ugandan middle distance star athlete has been in tremendous form this calendar year in spite of the many challenges presented by the global Covid-19 pandemic.
He broke world records at 5000m (12:35.36), 10,000m (26:11.00) and 5km on the roads (12:51) to leave him as an obvious choice as World Athletics named the five finalists for Male Athlete of the Year 2020.
Cheptegei's time in the 5000m ran at a remarkable 60.43 seconds per lap saw him break the world record by almost two seconds from the time set by Kenenisa Bekele 16 years ago.
Buoyed by that 5000m success, Cheptegei then went after another Bekele record smashing the Ethiopian's 15-year old 10,000m world record in a time of 26 minutes 11.00 seconds in Valencia by more than six seconds on October 08.
Days later he also finished fourth at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships on his debut over the distance.
His competitors to the gong remain the Swedish vaulter Mondo Duplantis who broke the world record in the pole vault twice (6.17m and 6.18m) and produced the highest outdoor vault of all time (6.15m).
He is also undefeated in 16 competitions.
The others are Ryan Crouser from the USA whose 22.91m world-leading performance moved him to equal third on the world all-time list. he is also undefeated in 10 shot put competitions.
Germany’s Johannes Vetter meanwhile won eight of his nine javelin competitions and threw a world-leading 97.76m, the second farthest throw in history.
Karsten Warholm, Norway on the other hand remained undefeated in nine 400m/400m hurdles races and set world best of 33.78 in 300m hurdles.
He ran a world-leading 46.87 in the 400m hurdles, the second fastest performance in history
A three-way voting process determined the finalists with World Athletics Council and the World Athletics Family casting their votes by email, while fans voted online.
The Council’s vote counted for 50% of the result, while the Athletics Family’s votes and the public votes each counted for 25% of the final result.
Voting for the Male World Athlete of the Year closed on 15 November.
The male and female World Athletes of the Year will be announced live at the World Athletics Awards 2020 to be staged as a virtual event on Saturday 5 December.
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