Making it to the top is one thing, thriving on the pressure it can bring is another. Peta Bee reports on new findings
Maria Lasitskene plays down IAAF award chances after golden summerOctober 12, 2017
The world high jump champion doesn’t see herself securing a top three spot in the IAAF world athlete of the year awards but is pleased with her 2017 success
World high jump champion Maria Lasitskene (née Kuchina) doesn’t believe she will make the top three shortlist for the IAAF world athlete of the year award, but her happiness comes from having claimed other titles in 2017.
As well as retaining her world title in London, the 24-year-old also won the overall Diamond League series and her consistency this summer has seen her unbeaten streak extend to 27 finals.
It is those successes which led the Russian – who has been able to compete since April as a neutral athlete in international competition – to be nominated on the 10-strong list for the female IAAF award.
“Honestly, I don’t believe that I will be even in the top three,” Lasitskene tells AW when asked about her IAAF award nomination. “It’s so subjective, you know what I mean? Somebody loves jumps, somebody else loves running. Somebody prefers blondes, somebody prefers brunettes. Too many ‘somebody’.
“If you look at the world rankings, for example, at all-athletics.com, you’ll see that right now I’m in the first position and I have more points than the best male athlete. It shows that I was consistent for the whole season.
“It’s more important for us to be consistent at a high level. I’m not that kind of athlete who shows a big result once and we don’t see this athlete anymore. But l’m not sure that all these things will help me to win at any awards.
“As I said, it’s so subjective. But l’m okay with that. All the main trophies of 2017 I already won.”
On her aims for 2018, Lasitskene adds: “Birmingham (World Indoor Championships), Berlin (European Championships), Diamond League and every tournament that I will compete. I don’t want to give anything to anyone. I already missed too many tournaments since 2015. It’s enough.”
Fans can vote for who they think should be the male and female winners of the IAAF world athlete of the year awards via the IAAF’s social media platforms. Voting closes on October 16 after which time the three finalists for each award will be announced by the global governing body.
Fans will also be able to vote for their athletes of the year in a range of categories as part of the AW Readers’ Choice Awards which will be launched next month.
» Read more from an interview with Maria Lasitskene in the October 12 issue of AW magazine