All three women made remarkable performances to merit their inclusion in the list.
Gidey set a world record of 14minutes 06.62 seconds in the women’s 5,000 metres in Valencia, Spain in October. At the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Monaco, she also came second in the 5,000m.
Jepchirchir broke the world half marathon record twice at 1:05:34 and 1:05:16 and also won the world half marathon title.
The other three finalists include Venezuelan Yulimar Rojas, Jamaican Elaine Thompson-Herah and Sifan Hassan who all made outstanding performances in Triple Jump and 100meters respectively. Sifan Hassan, although representing the Netherlands, was born in Adama, Ethiopia. She set an European record of 29:36:67 in the 10,000m which is considered the fourth fastest performance in history. She also set a world record of 18,930m in the one hour run.
The five finalists were a trim down from 10 shortlists decided by votes cast by the World Athletics Council and the World Athletics Family as well as online fans vote. The initial list before the trim down included three other Africans – Ethiopian Ababel Yeshaneh and two Kenyan, Faith Kipyegon and Hellen Obiri.