January 2017 Athlete of the Month Ballot

Male

1.  Roger Federer, tennis, Switzerland
Swiss tennis player Roger Federer defeated rival Rafael Nadal in five sets to win the Australian Open men’s championship in Melbourne on 29 January 2017. The win was Federer’s 18th Grand Slam men’s singles title.

2. Martin Fourcade, biathlon, France
France’s Martin Fourcade won three International Biathlon Union (IBU) World Cup events in January, all in Germany. Fourcade won his 10th IBU event of the season on 15 January 2017, taking home first place in the 12.5 kilometer. Fourcade won the men’s 10 kilometer sprint race on 12 January and won the 12.5 kilometer pursuit on 7 January.

3. Emmanuel Korir, sprinting, Kenya
Kenya’s Emmanuel Korir set a world indoor record in the 600 meter sprint at the Cherry & Silver Collegiate Invitational in New Mexico on 20 January 2017. Korir, a student at the University of Texas at El Paso, finished the race with a time of 1:14:97, beating the previous world record set in 1999 by .15 seconds.

4. Justin Thomas, golf, United States
American golfer Justin Thomas won the Tournament of Champions on 8 January 2017 in Hawaii. On 16 January 2017, he won the Sony Open by notching the lowest 72-hole score in PGA Tour history with a 253, 27 under par. Thomas shot a 59 in the first round of the tournament, becoming just the seventh player in PGA Tour history to break 60.

5. Tamirat Tola, marathon, Ethiopia
Ethiopia’s Tamirat Tola broke the Dubai Marathon course record, winning the men’s race in 2:04:11 on 20 January 2017. Tola, a Rio 2016 1,000 meter bronze medalist, took more than two minutes off his personal best to win the race.

6. Deshaun Watson, football, United States
Clemson’s Deshaun Watson completed 36 of 56 passes for 420 yards and three touchdowns, along with 43 yards rushing and a fourth touchdown on the ground, as the Tigers defeated Alabama 35-31 in the College Football Playoff National Championship on 9 January 2017. Watson was named the game’s offensive MVP for his performance.

Female

1. Anna Gasser, snowboard, Austria
Austria’s Anna Gasser dominated the field to win the women’s International Ski Federation (FIS) Snowboard World Cup slopestyle event on 14 January 2017 in Austria. Gasser won with a score of 81.25 points, far ahead of the nearest runner up.

2. Evgenia Medvedeva, figure skating, Russia
Russia’s Evgenia Medvedeva, 17, won her second consecutive International Skating Union (ISU) European Figure Skating Championship on 27 January 2017. She finished with a total score of 229.71 after notching a 150.79 score in the free skate event. Medvedeva is the reigning European and world champion.

3. Kelsey Plum, basketball, United States
The University of Washington’s Kelsey Plum scored 39 points as the Huskies defeated UCLA 82-70 on 8 January 2017. In Washington’s previous game on 6 January 2017 – a win against USC – Plum scored 34 points and notched five rebounds, five assists and three steals. The nation’s leading scorer in women’s college basketball, Plum is averaging more than 31 points per game this season. She surpassed 3,000 career points by scoring 36 in a win over Arizona on 13 January 2017.

4. Mikaela Shiffrin, skiing, United States
American skier Mikaela Shiffrin claimed her 27th career International Ski Federation (FIS) Alpine Skiing World Cup win in the women’s slalom event in Slovenia on 8 January 2017. She is just the second racer to win 27 times on the World Cup circuit before age 22. She also recorded her 28th career World Cup win and 40th podium finish on 31 January 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden.

5. Alina Shukh, pentathlon, Ukraine
Ukraine’s Alina Shukh broke the world U20 indoor record with 4,550 points in the pentathlon at the national indoor team championships in Ukraine on 27 January 2017. Shukh, 17, broke the previous mark of 4,535 points set in 2002. She also broke personal bests in the 60 meter hurdles, high jump and shot put.

6. Serena Williams, tennis, United States
American tennis star Serena Williams defeated her sister, Venus, in straight sets to capture her seventh overall Australian Open championship on 28 January 2017. The win was Williams’ 23rd Grand Slam title. The win also moved Williams to the top of the women’s world rankings and moved her ahead of Steffi Graf on the all-time list of major victories.

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