The 10 nominees for the 2017 Male Athlete of the Year have been announced and the voting process is in full swing. We look at some of the words these supermen used to describe their incredible accomplishments.
Mutaz Essa Barshim
After setting a 2.40m MR at the Birmingham Diamond League. He won the world title the week prior.
“I knew I had that jump in me but I needed that pressure on my shoulders. Word to my agent, we've got to get that bar home. Seriously, I'm taking that bar home.”
After becoming the first man to win three successive hammer throw world championship titles.
“I waited for this competition at this stadium for five years so it was very important for me to get this revenge for the Olympics in here. Three times world champion – I made history, what more could I expect?”
After winning 10,000m gold in London in 26:49.51, his sixth world championships title.
“Tonight was a very special night. The guys gave it to me. They chucked everything at it. It was one of the toughest races of my life. I really had to dig deep with 1600m to go.”
After winning the US Outdoor title and clearing 6.00m for the first time. He went on to become pole vault world champion.
“Six metres is a career point. Every great jumper in history has at least one 6m jump. There’s a lot of great jumpers around the world, but to be part of the club – be part of that very prestigious club – you have to get over 6.00. In imperial it doesn’t sound as high as 6-0-0.”
After winning 1500m world championship gold.
“To become a world champion is not an easy thing. It’s not a jog. I knew my teammate [Timothy] Cheruiyot would go fast, that’s why I followed him. I have a very strong kick, and that’s why I beat him.”
Minutes before receiving his gold medal, the day after he took the long jump world title in 8.48m.
“I am still digesting what happened yesterday. It still hasn’t sunk in yet. It’s the greatest achievement of my life. I still remember the last jump, looking at the screen, me cheering on Jarrion Lawson, I was thinking he was going to take the gold medal.
“That nightmare that happened last year in Rio, just came back at that moment and I was thinking ‘is it happening again? I’m going to be beaten with 1cm again?’ The moment they showed the distance, that’s when tears rolled down my skin and I was like ‘thank god I got it’.”
After winning the 110m hurdles title in 13.04, Jamaica’s only gold medal of the world championships.
“This one is special, honestly. There was a lot of pressure coming in but I channelled it positively.
“It's totally different to last year where we had Usain [Bolt] and Elaine [Thompson] winning, which I used to propel me. I didn't have that this time, so I really wanted to come out and shine my own light.”
After winning his third triple jump world championships title.
“For sure, winning should be the top goal, but to be completely honest, the world record was more on my mind. But I live to fight another day, came out on top, add to the medal count.
“I’m also chasing Dwight Philipp’s path that he led – he’s got four world championships, so one more to go. Tomorrow I’ll be back on the podium and I think I’ll be a bit emotional, five years later, because this road was not easy.”
Wayde van Niekerk
After successfully defending his 400m title in London. He went on to win 200m silver as well.
“When I crossed the finish line and I saw that I clearly had the gold, it was such a massive relieve because it’s one thing saying you can get it, but it’s a different thing actually achieving it. It’s such a huge honour for me to say that I have three golds from three different years. It sounds good, it feels good.”
After winning the javelin world title. He'd moved second in the all-time lists one month prior with a 94.44m effort.
“It was very emotional at the end of the competition because of the pressure in the last few weeks and days. After Thomas and Jakub were done, I was shaking until my last attempt because I had used all of my energy in the first two throws.
“Technically, they were not perfect. I thought I could throw farther. But it does not matter how far you throw, I threw enough for a gold medal.”