World marathon record holder Eliud kipchoge is among the 10 nominees of the year, world Athletics announced. He is on his way to make another history and possibly add another feather to his already full hat.
Kipchoge champion stormed to gold after winning the Olympic men’s marathon in two hours, eight minutes, and 38 seconds, giving Kenya a total of four gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics.
The 36-year-old marathoner has won two consecutive Olympic Gold medals in the Men’s Marathon after winning the 2016 race in two hours, eight minutes, and 44 seconds.
The marathoner will battle it out with Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei, Ryan Crouser (USA), Mondo Duplants (Sweden), Jakob Ingetgtsen (Norway), Pedro Pichard (Portugal), Daniel Stahl (Sweden), Damian Warner (Canada), and Karsten Waeholm (Norway).
The male and female World Athletes of the year will be announced live at the World Athletics Awards 2021 in December.
World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said: “As always, the World Athletics Awards will recognize athletes who’ve performed at the highest level across the year, taking into account not only the Olympic Games but the one-day meeting circuits.”
Winners will be picked through an online voting process that begins this year. According to World Athletics, a three-way voting process will determine the finalists.
The World Athletics Council and the World Athletics Family cast their votes by email, while fans can vote online via world Athletics Social media platforms. Individual graphics for each nominee will be posted on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram this week, a like’ on Facebook and Instagram or a retweet on Twitter will count one vote.
The nominees for 2021 Male World Athlete of the Year are (in alphabetical order):
Joshua Cheptegei, Uganda
– Olympic 5000m champion
– Olympic 10,000m silver medallist
– World-leading 8:09.55 for two miles
Ryan Crouser, USA
– Olympic and Diamond League shot put champion
– Undefeated all year
– World shot put records indoors and outdoors
Mondo Duplantis, Sweden
– Olympic pole vault champion
– Diamond League pole vault champion
– European indoor pole vault champion
Jakob Ingebrigtsen, Norway
– Olympic 1500m champion
– European indoor 1500m champion
– European 1500m and 5000m records
Eliud Kipchoge, Kenya
– Olympic marathon champion
– Largest winning margin in men’s Olympic marathon since 1972
– Winner of Enschede Marathon
Pedro Pichardo, Portugal
– Olympic triple jump champion
– Diamond League triple jump champion
– European indoor triple jump champion
Daniel Stahl, Sweden
– Olympic discus champion
– Diamond League discus champion
– Threw world-leading 71.40m
Miltiadis Tentoglou, Greece
– Olympic long jump champion
– European indoor long jump champion
– Jumped world-leading 8.60m
Damian Warner, Canada
– Olympic decathlon champion
– Winner at the Götzis Hypo Meeting
– National and Olympic record of 9018, moved to fourth on the world all-time list
Karsten Warholm, Norway
– Olympic 400m hurdles champion
– Diamond League 400m hurdles champion
– World 400m hurdles record and world 300m hurdles best
Arsenal retain a strong interest in Fiorentina striker but deal difficult to complete this month
Arteta has said the Gunners are working hard on new arrivals and that they “are open” to making a big signing if it is financially viable.
Vlahovic came to prominence last season when he scored 21 goals in 40 appearances for Fiorentina and has continued his impressive form with 18 goals in 22 games this campaign.
Vlahovic has just 18 months remaining on his Fiorentina contract, although he has not ruled out signing a new deal with the Serie A side.
The Gunners’ pursuit of Vlahovic could be aided by their good relationship with Fiorentina. Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreria is currently on loan at the Italian club, and including him as part of a deal for the Serbia international has not been ruled out.
Fiorentina also has an option to make Torreira’s loan move permanent.
Vlahovic joined Fiorentina from Partizan Belgrade in 2018. As well as making an impression in Italy, the striker also has seven goals in 14 games for Serbia.
Vlahovic came to prominence last season when he scored 21 goals in 40 appearances for Fiorentina, and has continued his impressive form with 18 goals in 22 games this campaign.
Ralf Rangnick urges unhappy players to be professional
A number of fringe players are known to be unhappy at Old Trafford.
Striker Anthony Martial has asked to leave and negotiations are continuing with Sevilla.
In addition, Jesse Lingard, Donny van de Beek, Dean Henderson, Eric Bailly, and Juan Mata are all frustrated at their lack of game time.
Mata, Paul Pogba and Edinson Cavani have contracts that run out at the end of the season.
That has contributed to a sense of unease at United, with levels of negative publicity increasing after the dismal Premier League home defeat by Wolves on 3 January.
Rangnick – brought in after the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November – says he tries to speak to players individually every two or three weeks.
However, doing so after every game is impossible and the German is calling on his squad to be professional in their reactions.
“We have a big squad,” he said. “If you have that many players and only 10 outfield players can play, and three being substitutes, then you have quite a number of players who don’t play or are not even in the squad.
Those players are unhappy about the situation. It’s obvious. It’s clear.
“We also have players with contracts expiring in the summer and maybe also one or two who want to leave even though they are under contract.
“It’s about the players dealing with that situation in a professional way. As far as I can tell so far the players have been doing that. If I realize this is not the case, I will address the players directly.”
In addition to unhappy players, Rangnick still has to convince some he is the right man to lead them.
Philippe Coutinho signs for Aston Villa on loan from Barcelona
The deal, which is subject to a medical and a work permit being granted, includes an option to buy the 29-year-old Brazil international.
Coutinho joined Barcelona in a £142m move from Liverpool in January 2018.
However, he has not had the expected impact and Barca is keen to move him on to lighten their wage bill.
Arsenal, Everton, Newcastle, and Tottenham were also linked with a move for Coutinho.
The playmaker, who has scored 26 goals in 106 appearances for the Catalans, has 18 months to run on his Nou Camp contract, which expires at the end of the 2022-23 season.
Barcelona were desperate to move on Coutinho after agreeing to a deal to sign Ferran Torres from Manchester City for £55m.
Coutinho also wanted a fresh start elsewhere and his links with Villa manager Steven Gerrard, who played alongside him at Liverpool and has remained a huge admirer even through his struggles at Barcelona, have seen off a host of Premier League clubs investigating the possibility of securing a deal.
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