Voting for the IHF player and coach of the year awards is now open ©IHF

The voting for the International Handball Federation (IHF) Player and Coach of the Year Awards is open until March 9.

A panel consisting of IHF experts and the coaches of the best teams at the last IHF World Championships, has chosen five nominees in each category.

It is now up to the fans and media to choose their favourites. 

France's Nikola Karabatic, named player of the year in 2007 and 2014, leads the men's nominees after the 32-year-old centre back was one of the star players of the French team that claimed the silver medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, where he was also voted into the All-star Team. 

Denmark's Mikkel Hansen has also been nominated after he was pivotal in his country's run to the gold medal at Rio 2016.

The 29-year-old left back was not only part of the Rio 2016 all-star team, but was also voted Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the tournament. 

European Handball Federation (EHF) Euro 2016 champion Andreas Wolff of Germany has also been nominated alongside Croatia's Domagoj Duvnjak and Norway's Sander Sagosen.

Norway's Nora Mork has been named among the nominees for the women's award.

With the Norwegian team, the 25-year-old right back claimed bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and defended their European championship title.

Romania's Cristina Neagu has also been shortlisted after she ranked third in the top scorer lists of the EHF Champions League, EHF Euro 2016 and Rio 2016.

The Netherlands' Nycke Groot, Isabelle Gullden of Sweden and Norwegian Kari Grimsbo round off the nominees. 

Mikkel Hansen of Denmark is among the men's nominees ©Getty Images
Mikkel Hansen of Denmark is among the men's nominees ©Getty Images

Gudmundur Gudmundsson leads the men's team Coach of the Year Award nominees after he took Denmark to Rio 2016 where they beat world champions France in the final giving Denmark their first ever handball gold medal. 

Christian Berge, the coach of Norway’s men’s team, has also been listed after he guided his team to the semi-finals of the EHF Euro 2016 in Poland and thus achieved the best result of a Norwegian men’s team at a European championship ever before taking them to second in the World Championships in France in January. 

Didier Dinart led France to the 2017 World Championship on home ground in January and also silver at Rio 2016.

Dagur Sigurdsson and Veselin Vujovic complete the shortlist.

Four-time IHF Coach of the Year Thorir Hergeirsso made it on the list of nominees for the women's coach award once again.

Norway claimed bronze at Rio 2016 before the 52-year-old Icelander guided them to another European Championship title.

In 2016, 58-year-old Frenchman Olivier Krumbholz took over the French women’s team who he led to the final of Rio 2016, where they took silver before finishing third at the European Championships.

Evgeniy Trefilov, who was voted coach of the year in 2009, presided over a phenomenal Russian Olympic tournament as they claimed the gold medal after finishing the tournament unbeaten.

CSM Bucuresti's Kim Rasmussen and The Netherlands' Henk Groener completed the nominees.