Nafissatou Thiam has been voted female athlete of the year 2017 by IAAF, the International Athletics Federation. The decision was announced during the IAAF Athletics Awards in Monaco on Friday evening. She is the first Belgian to receive the award. This season, Thiam passed the mythical 7,000 point barrier in Götzis, before winning the world title in London. This is all just a year after her Olympic gold medal in Rio.
The 23 year old heptathlete was one of three finalists for the award. IAAF drew up a shortlist of ten candidates at the beginning of October. The other two finalists were Greek pole-vaulter Ekaterini Stefanidi and Ethiopian long-distance runner Almaz Ayana.
Thiam was chosen by the IAAF Council (50% of votes), IAAF Family (25% of votes) and the public (25% of votes) by vote. Voting ended on the 16th of October.