By Nick Butler

Nordic skier Oleksandra Kononova leads the nominations after a stunning performance at the World Championships ©Getty ImagesA tennis player, a sailor and three winter sports individuals and one team have been selected as nominees for the International Paralympic Committee's (IPC) Allianz Athlete of the Month poll for January.

Leading the way is Ukrainian Nordic skier Oleksandra Kononova, fresh from a sensational performance at the IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships in Cable, United States.

In addition to winning gold in all six events she participated in, the 23-year-old was also part of the Ukraine mixed relay team that won silver.

She is bidding to become the first Nordic skier to win the monthly award since Russia's Roman Petushkov did so almost two years ago in February 2013.

Among other nominees is Dutch wheelchair tennis star Jiske Griffioen, who, after almost 14 years on the circuit, finally won her first Grand Slam singles title with victory at the Australian Open.

The 29-year-old did so in the toughest circumstances possible, getting the better of Japan's world number one Yui Kamiji in the final 6-3, 7-5.

The Netherlands' Jiske Griffioen secured a breakthrough victory at the Australian Open ©Getty ImagesThe Netherlands' Jiske Griffioen secured a breakthrough victory at the Australian Open ©Getty Images

Also nominated is another Nordic Skier, the United States' Andrew Soule,  who made history by winning the most ever medals by a US athlete at the World Championships, with three silver and two bronze medals, while the French relay team is also selected after their shock victory over Paralympic champions Russia in the 4x2.5 kilometres relay.

The final two nominees are British Para-snowboarder Ben Moore, winner of the first ever snowboard-cross World Cup head-to-head in Aspen, and Norwegian sailor Bjornar Erikstad, 
who claimed only his second ever World Cup win with victory in the 2.4mR in Miami.

His nomination comes shortly after the IPC announced that sailing would not feature on the Paralympic programme at Tokyo 2020. 

The nominations are compiled from submissions by National Paralympic Committees and International Federations, with the public having until 12pm CEST on (Monday) February 9 to make their choice.

Votes can be cast via the IPC website here.

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