What you need to know:
- Cheptegei yet again had a colourful year, this time retaining his 5km title at the Monaco Herculis Run in France back in February.
Joshua Cheptegei will have a third straight shot at the World Athletics Male of the Year after he made the 2021 shortlist on Monday.
The Ugandan long-distance runner lost the coveted prize to Kenyan marathon legend Eliud Kipchoge in 2019 and Swede vaulter Armand Duplantis in 2020.
But this time, Cheptegei who powered to two medals at the Tokyo Olympics in Japan, will hope to beat Kipchoge, Duplantis, American shot-put star Ryan Crouser and 400m hurdles world record holder Karsten Warholm this time.
Cheptegei yet again had a colourful year, this time retaining his 5km title at the Monaco Herculis Run in France back in February.
The 25-year-old rued the wind in his failed 3000m WR attempt at the Ostrava Golden Spike in Czech Republic on May 19 and despite losing the 25-lap duel to Ethiopian Selemon Barega and settling for silver, Cheptegei scooped the 5000m Olympic title.
He avenged that loss to Barega by setting the world leading time of 8:09.55 over the two-mile run at the Eugene Diamond League (DL) in USA on August 21.
With the voting process which involves World Athletics Council and its Family done as well as fans on digital platforms closed on November 6, Cheptegei now hopes that’s good enough to beat the quartet.
His mentor Kipchoge is a contender having become the third man in history to retain the 42km Olympic title. Crouser was meanwhile unbeaten all year in shot put and he got the Olympic and DL titles, to add to his indoor and outdoor WRs.
Duplantis as well won the Olympic, DL and European indoor titles whereas Warholm too, is DL and Olympic champion and the highlight of his year was the 400m hurdles WR he set in front of his home crowd at the Oslo DL Meeting on July 1.