Photo: Kaliese Spencer (Getty Images)
In what many would described as an outstanding season in track and field, former Mannings School and junior star athlete, Kaliese Spencer is hoping to top it off with the prestigious IAAF World Female Athlete of the Year. The reigning Commonwealth Games Champion is the only athlete from the land of the sprinting powerhouse Jamaica, shortlisted for this year's IAAF World Athlete of the Year Awards.
With the top tier of Jamaica’s male and female athletes not having the dominance of the past few seasons, Spencer is the only Jamaican athlete making the cut this year, in a list of 10 females and 10 male athletes.
Spencer owned this season for herself, winning 10 of 11 races at 400 meter hurdles. This also included the top three world leading times, 53.41 seconds at the National Stadium in Kingston back in June, 53.80s in August at Birmingham Diamond League and 53.81s in September at the Intercontinental Cup, Marrakech.
The 27 year old MVP athlete won silver (400) at the IAAF World Indoor Championships, 400m hurdles Gold at the Commonwealth Games,Diamond Champion in the IAAF 400m hurdles Diamond Race.
An email poll involving the World Athletics Family which began, Friday 3 October, and will close at midnight on Thursday 16 October.
At the conclusion of the voting process, three male and three female finalists will be selected and announced by the IAAF. The official announcement of the top athletes will take place live on stage during the 2014 World Athletics Gala on Friday 21 November 2014.
Only two Jamaican female athletes in Merlene Ottey in 1990 and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce 2013 have ever copped the top award. Spencer is listed among a strong field which is completed by the following athletes on the Women side : Valerie Adams (NZL), Genzebe Dibaba (ETH), Dawn Harper Nelson (USA), Caterine Ibarguen (COL), Francena McCorory (USA), Sandra Perkovic (CRO), Dafne Schippers (NED), Barbora Spotakova (CZE), Anita Wlodarczyk (POL).
The Male nominees are; Nigel Amos (BOT), Mutaz Essa Barshim (QAT), Jairus Kipchoge Birech (KEN), Bogdan Bondarenko (UKR), Yohann Diniz (FRA), Justin Gatlin (USA), Robert Harting (GER), Dennis Kipruto Kimetto (KEN), Renaud Lavillenie (FRA), LaShawn Merritt (USA).