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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

Dar to vote for IAAF athlete of the year award

7th October 2011
AT secretary general Suleiman Nyambui

Following poor performance of the Tanzania athletes at world stages, the Athletics Tanzania, AT, has been compelled to vote foreigners in the race towards coveted International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) 2011 athlete of the year award.

AT secretary general Suleiman Nyambui said Tanzania will vote for a Kenyan male and Tswana female athletes.

He said AT will vote for the African athletics duo for the award so that the continent is to be respected and recognized in game.

He also said if the duo wins the award Africa will have more powers at the IAAF as the athletes will be working directly with leaders of the world body.

IAAF is conducting online voting for male and female athletes of the year starting from last week and it will be closed on October 23.

“We want Africa to win these awards and AT will obviously vote for its son and daughter. You must know that a win by the duo will make our continent have a big say at IAAF activities,” he said.

However, Nyambui declined to say whom his body would vote for in the male category as there are Kenyan duo of Patrick Makau and David Rudisha.

AT will agree on who to vote for between the two athletes soon.

Nyambui said AT will vote for Botswana athlete female athlete Amantle Mantsho while making a huge oversight for Kenyan Vivian Cheruiyot.

He said the choice for Mantsho is aimed at promoting female athletes in the whole continent and not only one country.

He named the short listed female athletes lined up for the award as Russian trio of Maria Abakumova, Tatyana Chernova and Anna Chicherova, Lashida Demus and Carmelita Jeter from the United States of America (USA), Veronica Campbell Brown of Jamaica, Valerie Adams of New Zealand, Cheruiyot, Mantsho and Sally Pearson from Australia.

The male category has Jamaicans Yohan Blake and Usain Bolt, Kenyans Patrick Makau and David Rudisha, American Christian Taylor and Jessie Williams, Briton Mo Farah, Germany’s Robert Harting and Koji Muro Fushi from Japan.

The world male and female athletes of the year will be known on November 12 at the World Athletics gala scheduled for the French city of Monaco.

A panel of eight athletics’ experts from the IAAF nominated ten males and as many female candidates for the top awards.

According to Nyambui, at the end of the voting process, three male and female finalists will be selected and announced by the IAAF council.

“After the conclusion the council will select the best male and female for the top awards,” he said.

In a related development, Nyambui said preparations for his association general elections are underway and Songea has been picked to host the event on December 10.

He said AT picked up Songea after the regional athletic committee asked to host the event, besides helping promotion of the game in the southern part of the country.

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