AW Readers’ Choice Awards 2017November 2, 2017
Pick your best performers of the year in our annual readers’ vote
Who are your athletes of 2017?
While many other end-of-year honours are picked by various panels of experts, the Athletics Weekly athletes of the year awards are judged by you, the readers.
So here is your chance to have your say. There are 10 categories covering the leading British and international athletes, plus categories for masters and ‘best British breakthrough’.
We also have a new category this year where you can choose the winner of a lifetime achievement award.
There are no prizes with these awards but athletes will have the satisfaction of knowing they have the support of the most knowledgeable athletics readership in the world.
INTERNATIONAL MALE ATHLETE
Mo Farah: Retained his world 10,000m title and claimed 5000m silver, going on to win the Diamond League title for the shorter distance in Zurich before switching his attention to the roads and winning his fourth consecutive Simplyhealth Great North Run title.
Eliud Kipchoge: The Kenyan further reinforced his position as arguably the finest marathon runner of all time, clocking 2:00:25 for 26.2 miles during Nike’s controversial ‘Breaking2’ attempt and going on to win the Berlin Marathon again in 2:03:32.
Wayde van Niekerk: The South African (left) claimed world 400m gold and 200m silver, ran the world-leading time of 43.62 for the one lap event and was second fastest in 2017 at 200m. His 30.81 300m broke a 17-year-old world best.
Mutaz Essa Barshim: Undefeated in 2017, the Qatari high jumper achieved the three best clearances of the year, led by his world-leading 2.40m, and nine of the best 11, winning the world title and Diamond League title on the way.
Luvo Manyonga: The best long jumper in the world this year, the South African soared out to 8.65m and had eight of the best nine leaps. Undefeated this summer, his wins included world and Diamond League titles.
Omar McLeod: The world 110m hurdles champion clocked a world-leading Jamaican record of 12.90 to move him to joint fifth on the all-time list. The top three times this year were run by him, and five of the top six.
Christian Taylor: His 18.11m in Eugene in May was the best in the world this year and the American’s win in London saw him secure his third world triple jump title.
Johannes Vetter: In a competition which saw a remarkable series of PBs, the German javelin star threw 94.44m to move to second on the world all-time list and he backed that up with a world championships win.
INTERNATIONAL FEMALE ATHLETE
Caster Semenya: Dominated the 800m in 2017 with an undefeated streak that included the world final. The South African also clocked the fastest time in the world for nine years with 1:55.16 and at 1500m finished third in the world final.
Joyciline Jepkosgei: On the roads the Kenyan set a world 10km record of 29:43 in Prague before improving her half-marathon mark to 64:51 in Valencia.
Maria Lasitskene: Competing under the neutral flag, the Russian went undefeated in the high jump all year, winning world gold and taking the Diamond League title. Her best of 2.06m moved her to equal No.5 all-time, too.
Anita Wlodarczyk: Undefeated in the hammer in 2017, the Polish athlete threw the second-best mark in history of 82.87m and took world gold in London.
Nafissatou Thiam: After setting a world lead of 7013 in Gotzis to move to No.3 on the world all-time rankings, the Belgian heptathlete won the world title in London in style.
Hellen Obiri: The Kenyan won the 5000m title and took the Diamond League series during a season that saw her unbeaten at 5000m. She set world leads at 3000m and 5000m, too.
Sandra Perkovic: The Croatian’s season’s best of 71.41m was the best women’s discus throw in the world since 1992, while in addition she won the Diamond League and took the world title in London.
Katerina Stefanidi: Set a Greek record of 4.91m to go equal fourth on the world all-time lists in addition to being undefeated all year in a season that saw her clinch global gold and Diamond League series victory.
BRITISH MALE ATHLETE
Mo Farah: Took 10,000m gold and 5000m silver at the IAAF World Championships. Outside London he beat his main 5000m rivals in Zurich and later won the Simplyhealth Great North Run for the fourth time in a row.
CJ Ujah: After a wind-assisted 9.95 for 100m, he went on to run 9.97 and 9.98 with legal wind speeds when winning in Zurich and Rabat. He also took British Champs gold, the Diamond League title and was part of the gold medal-winning 4x100m team in London.
Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake: Anchored Britain to 4x100m gold and a national record at the IAAF World Championships. He also placed fourth in the 200m in London and took the British title.
Callum Hawkins: Fourth in the marathon at the IAAF World Championships in London, he also set a Scottish half-marathon record of 60:00 when winning the Marugame event in Japan.
Nick Miller: Produced the best-ever performance at the IAAF World Championships by a British male hammer thrower when finishing sixth in London. Also won British gold and came within 4cm of his UK record.
Robbie Grabarz: Sixth in the IAAF World Championships final and silver in the European Indoors, there was a British title as well for the high jumper and a season’s best 2.31m.
Dewi Griffiths: Ran a superb UK-leading time of 2:09:49 on his marathon debut in Frankfurt, which puts him 15th on the UK all-time list. The Welshman has also set PBs of 13:33.60 for 5000m, 28:16.07 for 10,000m, 28:27 for 10km and 61:33 for the half-marathon this year.
Chris O’Hare: Ran 3:33.61 in Monaco to go No.11 on the UK all-time rankings for 1500m. Elsewhere he won at the Müller Anniversary Games and British Team Trials and reached the final at the IAAF World Championships, placing 12th.
BRITISH FEMALE ATHLETE
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Placed fifth in both the heptathlon and high jump at the world championships. Set a PB of 6691 points when finishing fourth in one of the greatest ever heptathlon competitions at the Hypo Meeting in Götzis.
Asha Philip: Broke the British 60m record to win the European indoor title and claimed British titles over 60m and 100m. Reached the semi-finals in the world championships 100m and formed part of the silver medal-winning 4x100m team.
Dina Asher-Smith: Finished fourth in the world 200m final and formed part of the silver medal-winning 4x100m team despite breaking her foot earlier in the season.
Laura Muir: Ran a series of PBs and won European indoor titles at 1500m and 3000m before finishing fourth in the 1500m and sixth in the 5000m at the world championships in London.
Eilish McColgan: Improved her PBs considerably in a number of events, claimed European indoor 3000m bronze and placed 10th in the world 5000m final.
Sophie Hitchon: Led the UK hammer rankings for the seventh consecutive season and finished seventh in the world final. Won the UK title and placed fifth at the European Team Championships.
Holly Bradshaw: The pole vaulter twice improved her own British outdoor record, first to 4.80m at the the Arcadis Great CityGames Manchester and then to 4.81m in Germany. Won the British title and finished sixth at the world championships.
Lorraine Ugen: Leapt a British indoor long jump record of 6.97m to claim European indoor silver. Won UK titles both indoors and out and finished fifth in the world final.
BRITISH MALE U20 ATHLETE
Toby Harries: The Brighton Phoenix sprinter raced lightly but won the European under-20 200m title in Grosseto in a season’s best 20.81.
Jake Heyward: Took European under-20 1500m gold in a slower, tactical race but also clocked a best of 3:42.12. Won England 1500m gold, too, and was fourth in the SIAB Schools Cross Country International.
Tom Gale: Successfully defended his English Schools high jump title and took the England under-20 and senior titles, plus bronze at the European Under-20 Championships, while his 2.30m PB places him No.2 all-time on the UK junior rankings.
Markhim Lonsdale: Silver over 800m at the European Under-20 Championships in Italy while he rose to No.4 all-time in the UK indoor under-20 rankings and No.7 all-time outdoors with a 1:46.97 PB.
George Evans: Scottish discus thrower won European under-20 bronze in Grosseto and won Scottish and English titles while rising to No.8 on the UK all-time junior rankings.
Alastair Chalmers: Despite being an under-18, the Guernsey athlete led the UK under-20 rankings for 2017 at 400m hurdles with 52.06 and he took the Commonwealth Youth Games gold.
Joel Leon Benitez: His pole vault best of 5.51m took him to No.2 on the UK all-time under-20 rankings. He won the England under-20 title too but no-marked at the European Championships in Grosseto.
Alex Yee: Clocked a 13:37.60 5000m for No.4 on the UK under-20 all-time rankings and the fastest by a British junior for 36 years, but injuries from a triathlon bike crash ended his season early.
BRITISH FEMALE U20 ATHLETE
Alicia Barrett: Sprint hurdler competed in the World Championships after winning a European under-20 silver. Set British junior records indoors (8.19) and out (13.07).
Maya Bruney: Took a whole second off her 200m PB during the year to impressively win the European under-20 title in 23.04 into a headwind. She also won two further medals in the 4x100m and 4x400m, with a 51.7 split in the latter.
Molly Caudery: Set a pole vault PB of 4.35m to take silver in the European Under-20 Champs. Only three seniors jumped higher in 2017.
Khahisa Mhlanga: The English Schools 800m and cross-country winner was a surprise European under-20 800m champion, having only been second in the British Championships. Improved her PB to 2:04.34 in a BMC meeting.
Jemma Reekie: The Scot was an impressive winner of the European under-20 1500m and she backed that up with fourth in the 3000m. Won national titles at 1500m and 3000m outdoors and 1500m indoor. Improved 12 seconds over 1500m during 2017.
Harriet Knowles-Jones: After winning a bronze at the 2016 European cross-country, she won the National and took a bronze in the European junior 1500m. Also ran 8:56.08 3000m and ran for Britain’s senior team in the European Team Championships over the distance.
Holly Mills: Won the Commonwealth Youth Games long jump and a senior bronze in the National Championships with a 6.31m PB.
Erin Wallace: Took the Commonwealth Youth Games 1500m title but also won the Schools International and the Virgin Money Giving Mini London Marathon.
BRITISH MALE PARA-ATHLETE
David Weir: Following his retirement from the track, the six-time Paralympic champion claimed a record seventh Virgin Money London Marathon title.
Jonnie Peacock: Improved his PBs in both the 60m and 100m and successfully defended his world T44 100m title.
Aled Davies: Retained both his world F42 shot put and discus titles, breaking the world record and championship record respectively to do so.
Richard Whitehead: Retained his world T42 200m title and also claimed 100m bronze. Improved his world 200m record earlier in the year.
Derek Rae: Improved his PBs over 3km, 5km, 10km, 5 miles, 10 miles, the half and full marathon in a year which saw him claim World Para Athletics Marathon World Cup bronze.
Dave Henson: Improved his 200m PB by almost half a second and claimed world bronze while also working on a PhD in amputee biomechanics.
Jonathan Broom-Edwards: Claimed his third consecutive world T44 high jump silver and cleared an indoor PB of 2.13m.
Luke Sinnott: Made an impressive GB debut in London, just missing a medal in the T42 long jump before winning 200m and 400m gold plus 100m silver at the Invictus Games.
BRITISH FEMALE PARA-ATHLETE
Hannah Cockroft: Set multiple world records and won world T34 100m, 400m and 800m titles, taking her number of global senior golds to 15.
Georgie Hermitage: Added world T37 100m and 400m titles to the two Paralympic golds won the year before, breaking world and championship records in the process.
Sophie Hahn: Continued her world record-breaking and gold medal-winning ways to claim world titles in both the T38 100m and 200m.
Sophie Kamlish: Improved her own world T44 100m record before winning the world title in London and claimed victory at the Arcadis Great CityGames Manchester.
Sammi Kinghorn: Broke world and European records and then claimed a T53 sprint double in London, before a move up in distance saw her clock 1:43:52 in the marathon.
Kadeena Cox: Claimed a full set of world medals in London, winning the T38 400m and also securing 100m silver and 200m bronze.
Stef Reid: Claimed her first global gold as she won the T44 long jump title.
Hollie Arnold: Took on the role of GB team captain at the World Para Athletics Championships and won the F46 javelin title with a world record throw.
Olivia Breen: Had the long jump competition of her life in London as she improved her PB three times to win the T38 long jump title.
BRITISH MASTERS ATHLETE (over 40)
Angela Copson: The W70 has dominated her age group and has set numerous world records. Now holds British records at 800m, 1500m, 3000m, 5000m, 10,000m half-marathon and marathon. She won European masters titles at 800m, 1500m, 5000m, 10,000m and half-marathon.
Carole Filer: Won world masters W60 indoor titles in Daegu at high jump, long jump and pentathlon and then in the summer, European golds at heptathlon, high jump, long jump and 80m hurdles.
Susan Frisby: Set a W55 300m hurdles world record of 48.74 in winning gold in the European Masters Championships, where she also won the heptathlon and 80m hurdles.
Di Norman: Won the European masters W40 heptathlon title and BMAF titles at heptathlon, 400m, 800m, high jump, triple jump, long jump and shot.
Tamunonengiye-Ofori Ossai: The M40 won a sprint double at the World Masters indoors at 60m and 200m and added a 200m gold in the European Masters Championships where he also won a relay gold, though had to settle for second in the 100m.
Jo Pavey: Did not finish the London Marathon but still ran the fastest W40 times this year at 5000m and 10,000m.
Stephen Peters: Britain’s greatest ever vet sprinter won an individual M60 sprint triple at the European Masters and won gold in the 4x100m and 4x400m relays.
Anthony Whiteman: Regularly improved the world M45 800m record all the way down to 1:49.86 and was still good enough to mix it with senior athletes at British Championships and British Milers Club meets.
Dwayne Cowan: At the age of 32, he finally broke 46 seconds for 400m, improving to 45.34 to win the Birmingham Diamond League and made the World Championships 400m semi-finals. He contributed a 44.2 leg to Britain’s medal-winning 4x400m team.
Joshua Griffiths: Unknown at international level until he made a stunning marathon debut at London and his 2:14:49 qualified him for the London World Championships where he finished 39th.
Jessica Judd: The former junior star had her best senior year taking six seconds off her 1500m PB and was a World Championships semi-finalist and won the National and Inter Counties cross-country titles.
Kyle Langford: Only third in the British Championships 800m, he enjoyed a huge improvement to finish a shock fourth place in the World Championships with a stunning finishing drive to run a PB 1:45.25.
Eilish McColgan: The former steeplechaser enjoyed big improvement on the flat at 1500m (4:01.60), 3000m (8:31.00) and 5000m (14:48.39). She finished 10th in the World Championships 5000m and was third in the European Indoor 3000m.
Jonathan Mellor: It was not enough for Commonwealth Games selection but he ran a four-minute PB of 2:12:57 at the Berlin Marathon. He also set a 62:23 PB at the half-marathon.
Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake: While his highlight was anchoring Britain to the World Championships relay gold, individually he was a fine fourth in the World Championships 200m. He also ran 9.99 for 100m and won the silver medal in the NCAA Championships 200m.
Reece Prescod: Though he was not in the winning London 4x100m team, he won the British 100m Championships and made the World Championships final.
Charlotte Taylor: A shock win in the NCAA 10,000m highlighted a year in which she set a minute PB at 10,000m and a 36-second PB at 5000m and ran in the World Championships 10,000m.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Usain Bolt: The world’s greatest ever athlete bowed out at the World Championships in London, coming third in the 100m and pulling up injured in the relay. The 11-time world champion won the IAAF world athlete of the year six times between 2008 and 2016.
Ruth Beitia: The 2016 Olympic high jump champion is a three-time European champion and was a world finalist as long back as 2003. She made the world final at London this year but was not a medal contender and announced her retirement.
Mo Farah: The most successful world championships endurance runner in history exited the track with a 10,000m gold and 5000m silver from London.
Christine Ohuruogu: A poor 2017 as her international career ended but she is one of Britain’s greatest female athletes with Olympic 400m gold, two world titles and a mass of 4x400m medals.
David Rudisha: The 800m world-record holder and double Olympic 800m champion only managed four races in 2017 but he dominated 800m running from much of 2009 to 2016.
Christian Taylor: The American hasn’t managed any world records yet and is far from retiring, but he is the first triple jumper to win five global titles after two Olympic golds and winning his third world title in London.
» Voting closes on Friday December 1 at 12 noon GMT, with the results to be published in the December 7 edition of AW magazine