Jamaican Olympic triple gold medallist Elaine Thompson-Herah is going up against an American football legend, an international tennis player, a contender for a Formula 1 championship and a female Irish jockey who created history for the BBC’s World Sport Star of the Year 2021 award.
Fresh on the heels of being named Female World Athlete of the Year, she was announced as one of the six nominees for the award that goes to the world sports star whose sporting achievements have most captured the public’s imagination during 2021.
The other contenders are: American football legend Tom Brady who this year extended his record of Super Bowl wins to seven; Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic who sealed victories at the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon this year; Red Bull Racing Formula 1 driver Max Verstappen who is seeking his first World Championship in a tight competition with his Mercedes rival, seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton; Rachael Blackmore who became the first female rider to win the Grand National at Aintree and the first woman to be leading jockey at the Cheltenham Festival; and Saul ‘Canelo’ Álvarez, who became the first undisputed super-middleweight champion of all time just last month.
Thompson-Herah made history as the first woman to complete the Olympic sprint ‘double-double’ and became the second-fastest ever woman in both events, behind only Florence Griffith-Joyner, as she took gold in the 100m and 200m.
The 29-year-old sprinter successfully defended her Rio titles despite being hampered by an Achilles tendon injury for several seasons.
Voting for the BBC’s World Sport Star of the Year 2021 is open until December 14, and the award will be presented during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year show live on December 19.