The shortlist for the BASC Athlete of the Year award has been announced today, and voting is now open until 20 October. Members will receive voting instructions by email over the next day or so. Those not on email will be sent details in the post.
Mo Farah headlines the shortlist after his final season on the track with a world gold and silver medal, Diamond League final and Great North Run win. Three members of the medal-winning sprint relay teams also feature. World gold medalists Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake and CJ Ujah with their 4th place 200m finish and Diamond League final victory respectively, are joined by Dina Asher-Smith who also had a 4th place finish in the individual event. Para-Athletes are represented by double world gold medalists Aled Davies and Sammi Kinghorn. Hammer thrower Nick Miller is also on the list after his top-6 finish at the world championships. More information on shortlisted athletes can be found here.
Lorraine Ugen claimed second place in the long jump at the Diamond League finals at the Van Damme Memorial in Brussels. Lorraine jumped into the lead in the 5th round, only to lose out to Ivana Spanovic with 6.70m in the final round. Despite distances being a little below par due to the conditions it capped a good season for the British jumper, and was the best result for a British athlete in the second half of Diamond League finals. Shara Proctor, who has had a difficult season finished in 6th with 6.41s.
In a 5000m dominated by Kenyans and Ethiopians, Eilish McColgan finished the top European in 8th place with a Scottish record of 14:48.49 to eclipse her mother, Liz, and more recently, Laura Muir. It topped an encouraging season for Eilish as she successfully transitioned from the steeplechase to the flat. Hellen Obiri claimed the Diamond League title. Another Scottish athlete, Eilidh Doyle took 4th place in the 400m hurdles final with 55.04s.
The British women's and men's 4x400m relay teams added a silver and bronze medal respectively to Britain's 2017 World Championships tally. The women's team - Zoey Clark, Laviai Nielson, Eilidh Doyle and Emily Diamond - had shown in the heats that they had the ability to win a medal, and they did not disappoint. With Jamaica pulling up with an injury, a silver was very much in the cards. The team ran 3:25.00 in second behind a USA world leading time in gold position.
The men's performance in the heat - coming through as fastest losers - cast some doubt on whether they were in condition to medal. The addition of Matt Hudson-Smith to the team improved their chances. With Dwayne Cowan, Rabah Yousif Bkheit and Martyn Rooney, the team took bronze in 2:59.00, and at one stage they appeared to be gaining on Trinidad and Tobago, who pipped USA to the gold, around the top bend.
It was already a memorable evening: Mo bowing out with a silver; the women's 4x100m team winning silver; but the best was yet to come. Up against the mighty USA and Jamaica, the men's sprint relay squad pulled off a major coup winning gold. Usain Bolt in his final track appearance pulled-up with a hamstring problem on the home straight, much to the disappointment of the crowd, but even had he not, it was debateable whether he could have changed the result. Unchanged from the heats, the team of CJ Ujah, Adam Gemili, Danny Talbot and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake delighted the crowd with slick baton changes roaring home in a world-leading 37.47s. It was a well-deserved victory.
The 5000m did not follow the script, on Sir Mo Farah's final championship track appearance. With the Ethiopians working a as a team, and the effects of a tough 10,000m still in his legs, Mo was blocked in on the home straight. He pressed hard for the line passing two of the Ethiopians and Chelimo, but Edris was too far ahead to be caught. It was somehow fitting that Mo's amazing run of world and Olympic golds should be bookended by silver. Clearly emoitional, Mo was able to receive the adulation of the crowd for a sensational career. Certainly Britain's greatest ever athlete. Confirming himself as one for the future, Andy Butchart followed up his Olympic 6th place finish with 8th place in the world championships.
There's a sense of deja vu as we report yet another fourth place finish in the IAAF World Championships. Yet this one stands out. Dina Asher-Smith - who broke her foot earlier in the year, and only started running in spikes in June - almost pulled off a shock in the 200m final. She ran a season's best in the heats and semi-final, and then took almost half a second off that to take 4th place in 22.22s. Dina ran a terrific bend and was in the mix all the way to the line. It was testament to the young sprinter and her team that Dina was able to take on the world in such an impressive performance. Dafne Schippers won gold.
Field athletes Nick Miller and Lorraine Ugen were also competing in finals on Day 8 of the championship. Both made the cut, although it was a close run thing for Lorraine. Knowing that it would probably take a 7m jump to win, she threw all caution to the wind, but that meant two fouls. A third round 6.72m put her into 4th place. Another two long distances were denied Lorraine as she fouled out again. In the end Lorraine came a way with an impressive 5th place. Brittney Reece took gold with 7.02m from Kilishina (7.00) and Bartoletta (6.97) In the hammer, a third round 77.31m throw put Nick Miller into second place for a brief while. Knowing that he would need a PB, Nick pulled out all the stops, but was unable to imptove. He finished in 6th place, as higher ranked hammer throwers found their form. Fajdek won the gold medal with a throw of 79.81m. For GB&NI to have a male and a female hammer thrower finishing in the top 7 of the world is definitely to be celebrated.