MONACO: Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge and the United States’s; Dalilah Muhammad have been named World Athletics Athlete’s of the Year,
Kipchoge, the winner of the award last year, added to his phenomenal marathon CV in 2019. In April he captured his fourth victory at the London Marathon with a 2:02:37 course record, the third fastest performance of all time.
The 35-year-old Kenyan followed up in October by blasting through the distances two-hour barrier with a 1:59:40.2 performance.
Muhammad aged 29, broke the world record in the 400m hurdles twice this year, first with a 52.20 performance at the US Championships in July to eclipse a record which had stood since 2003. She broke it again at the World Athletics Championships Doha 2019, clocking 52.16.
The ceremony also saw several other awards bestowed upon other phenomenal athletes in a number of categories.
Male Rising Star – Selemon Barega
- Barega, 19, was the silver medallist in the 5000m at the World Championships, and finished fifth in the senior race at the World Cross Country Championships, Aarhus 2019.
Female Rising Star – Yaroslava Mahuchikh
- Mahuchikh, the 2017 world U18 champion, continued her ascension into the high jump elite at the World Championships, where she twice broke the world U20 record, first with a leap of 2.02m and again with a clearance of 2.04m to secure the silver medal.
Coaching Achievement – Brother Colm O’Connel
- During a coaching career that has spanned more than four decades, O’Connell, an Irish missionary who has lived in Iten, Kenya, since 1976, has coached 25 world champions and four Olympic gold medallists.
Fair Play Award – Braima Suncar Dabo
- Dabo, a distance runner from Guinea-Bissau, made headlines around the world after he helped fellow runner, Jonathan Busby of Aruba, to the finish line during their opening round heat of the 5000m at the World Championships.
President’s Award – Vikki Orvice
- Orvice, a long-time British athletics journalist for The Sun, passed away last February after a long battle with cancer. Orvice served as chairperson of the British Athletics Writers Association (BAWA) between 2003 and 2005, the first woman to be appointed the role.
Woman of the Year – Derartu Tulu
- The Ethiopian distance running legend who won Olympic 10,000m titles in 1992 and 2000, Tulu has served as acting president of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation since November 2018.
Athletics Photograph of the Year – Felix Sanchez Arrazola
- The Spanish photographer’s image of a jubilant Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce moments after winning her fourth world 100m title was judged to be the winner from this year’s shortlist of three photographs.
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