London 2017 Silver medalist in the women’s 400m, Salwa Eid Naser of Bahrain is one of six finalists gunning for the 2017 IAAF Rising Star Award, with the winners (Male and Female) expected to emerge at the 2017 IAAF Athletics Awards to be held in Monaco on Friday, November 24.
All nominees in this category belong to the U-23 age bracket. Finalists in the men’s category are London 2017 double Silver medalist Christian Coleman, 400m Hurdles World Champion Karsten Warholm, and Swedish Pole vaulter Armand Duplantis. Eid Naser is joined by Triple Jump Champion Yulimar Rojas, and High Jump Silver medalist Yuliya Levchenko of Ukraine in the women’s category.
2017 was indeed the break out year for Eid Naser who became the youngest ever medalist in the women’s 400m at the World Championships. The Nigerian-born athlete stunned USA’s Allyson Felix to finish 2nd behind eventual champion Phyllis Francis in her maiden outing at the World Championships.
She also set three National Records (NR) enroute the final, setting a new NR of 50.06s in her last race in London. The 19-year old handed another defeat to Felix at her debut Diamond League outing in Birmingham, and then ended the season on a high by setting another NR and Asian U20 Record of 49.88s in Brussels, moving to 3rd place on the world U20 all-time list.
Venezuelan Rojas secured an inspiring win over fellow South American rival Caterine Ibarguen to become the youngest ever medalist in the women’s Triple Jump at the World Championships, achieving this feat at age 21. She also tops the 2017 world rankings with her marks of 14.96m and 14.91m respectively.
Levchenko’s Silver winning mark of 2.01m puts her at No.2 on the 2017 world rankings, as only World Champion Mariya Lasitskene has jumped further. The 19-year old won Bronze at the European U-20 Indoor Championships earlier in the year, before striking GOLD at the European U-23 Championships with a height of 1.96m.
USA’s Coleman was one of the standout performers at the London 2017 World Championships. The 21-year old arrived London as 100m/200m NCAA Champion and World Leader in the men’s 100m with a time of 9.82s. He proved that his earlier performance was no fluke as he went on to beat Jamaican legend Usain Bolt in the 100m semis, and then finished ahead of Bolt again in the final, scooping Silver behind teammate Justin Gatlin. He added another Silver in the 4x100m relay.
In 2017, Norway’s Warholm became the youngest medalist in the men’s 400m Hurdles in World Championships history. The 21-year old upset the apple cart in the men’s final in London when he defeated reigning Olympic Champion Kerron Clement to win GOLD in 48.35s. Earlier in the season, Warholm did the 400m/400m Hurdles double at the European U-23 Championships where he won Silver and GOLD respectively.
17-year old Swedish Pole vaulter Duplantis became the youngest finalist in his event at the World Championships, having finished in 9th place in London with a mark of 5.50m. The former World Youth Champion soared to a World U-20 Record of 5.90m in Austin, Texas, in April. He then won the European U-20 title in Grosseto, Italy in July.
Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse and Belgian athlete Nafissatou Thiam respectively won the Men and Women’s category of the 2016 IAAF Rising Star Award.