Vili nominated for world athlete award

New Zealand Olympic champion shot put exponent Valerie Vili is a nominee for the 2009 world Athlete of the Year award.

The International Association of Athletics Federations has listed world champion Vili alongside the likes of Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt for the award, with the winners announced on November 22.

Vili is up for the female athlete of the year award along with pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia, United States sprinter Sanya Richards, high jumper Blanka Vlasic of Croatia and hammer thrower Anita Wlodarczyk of Poland.

Bolt is joined in the men's category by fellow sprinter Tyson Gay of the US, distance great Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia, pole vaulter Steve Hooker of Australia and javelin champ Andreas Thorkildsen of Norway.

Vili has an unbeaten streak to match Bolt, having won 25 straight competitions, including her second successive world championship in Berlin in August.

- NZPA

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