Ashton Eaton and Jessica Ennis-Hill have been voted winners of the combined events category in the first round of voting for the 2015 IAAF World Athlete of the Year award.
Eaton successfully defended his title at the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015, setting a decathlon world record of 9045. Within his series, the US athlete set a world decathlon best of 45.00 for 400m.
Having missed the 2014 to give birth to her first child, Ennis-Hill won the heptathlon in Beijing. The Briton regained the title she won in 2009, scoring 6669.
Last month the IAAF Family* was asked to select nine men and nine women from each of the following categories: sprints, hurdles, middle and long distance, road running, race walking, jumps, throws, combined events and multi-terrain.
The longlist will comprise the top-voted athletes in each category. The candidates from the other categories in the world athlete of the year voting will be announced over the coming days.
An international panel of 10 experts** will then select the finalists – three men and three women – the names of whom will be announced on 17 and 18 November.
*IAAF Family: IAAF & IAF Council members; IAAF national member federations; IAAF Committee & Commission members; IAAF meeting directors; IAAF athlete ambassadors; athletes’ representatives; top athletes; members of the international press; IAAF staff members and the IAAF’s official partners
**The international panel of athletics experts includes representatives from all six continental areas of the IAAF