Women’s Performance Of The Year

The Monaco DL result gave Beatrice Chepkoech the chance at the ultimate result-sign pose. (GIANCARLO COLOMBO/PHOTO RUN)

OUR 24-MEMBER international voting panel had no trouble in finding its 2018 winner as Women’s Performance Of The Year. Beatrice Chepkoech’s crushing of the World Record was all that it took for her to become the first steepler ever to earn the top spot. She received 21 of the votes for No. 1, 2 for No. 2 and her other at No. 3. The remaining 3 No. 1s all went to runner-up Caster Semenya, who had 3 different 800s (all-time performances 4, 6 & 8) all receive votes. The 24 different performances which received recognition in our 5-4-3-2-1 scoring system (WR = World Record; WL = yearly World Leader):

1. Beatrice Chepkoech’s 8:44.43 WR, 116 points

After 3 rather pedestrian performances to open her year, Chepkoech cracked the 9:00 barrier in Paris, but her PR 8:59.36, while moving her to No. 4 on the all-time list, didn’t really suggest what she would do in her next outing, in Monaco. Her 8:44.43 became the first sub-8:50 ever, clipping 8.46 off the old WR.

2. Caster Semenya’s 1:54.25 WL, 73

In any other year, Semenya’s 1:54.25 in Paris would have had a real shot at earning POY honors, but it didn’t stand a chance against Chepkoech. Still she moved to No. 4 on the 800’s all-time list and was a clear runner-up.

3. Shaunae Miller-Uibo’s 48.97 WL, 35

POY voters like records, but if you can’t score one of those, barrier-cracking marks also garner attention. Thus it was that when SMU ran 48.97 to win in Monaco, joining the sub-49 club, she got high marks.

4. Sydney McLaughlin’s 52.75 WL, 24

Our POY instructions include the caveat that age-related performances shouldn’t be considered, but even when one ignore’s McLaughlin’s 52.75 as the World Junior (U20) Record that it was, it was still good enough to jump her into the No. 4 position. Only 8 other women have ever run faster. The mark, made on May 13, rates as the fastest sub-53 ever run so early in the year; the previous fastest was a 52.82 on June 10.

5. Sandra Perković’s 234-2 (71.38) WL, 22

If not for a discus thrower named Sandra Perković, this would have been the farthest throw of the new millennium. Last year the Croatian great threw an inch (3cm) farther. Her nearest competition on this year’s list was more than 10ft behind at 223-11 (68.26).

Other Vote-Getters

6. Gladys Cherono’s 2:18:11 WL, 11;
7. Sifan Hassan’s 4:14.71y WL, 10;
8. tie, Fancy Chemutai’s 64:52 WL (2, =3 W), Vivian Cheruiyot’s London 2:18:31 (5, 8 W) & Semenya’s 1:54.60 (#6 performance ever), 8;
11. Sandi Morris’s 16-2¾i (4.95) WL to win WIC, 6;
12. Chepkoech’s 8:55.10 (#3 performance ever), 5;
13. tie, Dina Asher-Smith’s 21.89 WL, Mary Keitany’s 66:58, Rui Liang’s 4:04:36 WR, Hellen Obiri’s 14:21.75 & Anita Włodarczyk’s 261-1 (79.59) WL, 4;
18. tie, Semenya’s 1:54.77 (#8 performance ever), Nafi Thiam’s 6816 WL & Keni Harrison’s 12.36 WL, 3;
21. tie, Mary Keitany’s 64:55 in NYC, DeAnna Price’s 256-3 (78.12) AR, Marie-Josée Ta Lou’s 10.85 =WL & Nafi Thiam’s 190-0 (57.91) JT in Euro Champs hept, 1. □