Indian Olympic gold medalist and World Champion javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra is among the five finalists of the World Athletics' 'Men's World Athlete of the Year' award.
"The names of the five finalists for Men's World Athlete of the Year honours have been confirmed, as the countdown to the World Athletics Awards 2023 continues," said a statement from the worldwide governing body of athletics.
The five athletes, who represent four countries from four area associations, have achieved sensational performances across a range of athletics disciplines in 2023, winning titles and breaking world records at the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23, one-day meeting circuits, Label road races and other events around the world.
The finalists are (in alphabetical order):
Neeraj Chopra, India, javelin* World champion* Asian Games champion
Ryan Crouser, USA, shot put* World champion* World record
Mondo Duplantis, Sweden, pole vault* World champion* Diamond League champion with world record
Kelvin Kiptum, Kenya, marathon* London and Chicago Marathon winner* Marathon world record breaker
Noah Lyles, USA, 100m/200m* World 100m and 200m champion* World leader and undefeated in six finals at 200m
A three-way voting process determined the finalists.
The World Athletics Council and the World Athletics Family cast their votes by email, while fans logged their decisions online via the World Athletics social media platforms where a record 2 million votes were registered.
Voting closed on October 28. The World Athletes of the Year will be announced on World Athletics' platforms on December 11, as part of the World Athletics Awards 2023.
This year has been a memorable one for Neeraj.
Neeraj lived up to the expectations to win the gold at the Asian games and his compatriot Kishore Kumar Jena took home a silver medal as Indian athletes put up a power-packed performance at the Hangzhou Olympic Stadium on October 4. Neeraj defended his title and scripted history at the continental event. The event was watched eagerly on TV screens across the country as the two Indians stole the limelight.
There was a neck-to-neck competition between two Indian athletes and Neeraj prevailed with his season's best throw of 88.88 metres.
Also, 'Golden Boy' Neeraj clinched India's first-ever gold medal at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest back in August. Neeraj recorded his best throw of 88.17 m in his second attempt and managed to keep his lead intact till the very end to win Gold at Budapest.
Pakistan's Arshad Nadeem, the Commonwealth Games champion with 87.82 m got a silver medal. Czech Republic's Jakub Vadlejch secured the bronze with the best throw of 86.67 m.
With a gold medal in the Asian Games, Olympics, Commonwealth Games and World Athletics Championships and a Diamond League title, Chopra has won every top prize in the sport. He has set an unprecedented example with his consistency and hunger for gold. (ANI)