International Athletics

Bolt snubbed for IAAF World Athlete of the Year award

2015-11-26 21:18
IAAF logo (Getty Images)

Monaco - The IAAF on Thursday named American decathlete Ashton Eaton and Ethiopian middle-distance runner Genzebe Dibaba as World Athletes of the Year.

Eaton broke his own decathlon world record at the world championships in Beijing in August, beating his previous best by nine points to notch up 9045.

The 27-year-old also won world gold in Moscow in 2013, a year after clinching Olympic gold in London.

Eaton took the award despite sprint superstar Usain Bolt clinching a fifth treble gold showing in a major championships in Beijing.

The Jamaican had performed the same feat at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics in Beijing and London, and world championships in 2009 and 2013 in Berlin and Moscow.

"While I'm honoured that I am considered the 'artist' of the year, I did not beat Usain and (triple jumper) Christian (Taylor); my work simply differed in design," Eaton said.

"They are some of the most talented and beautiful performers of all time. I'm flattered to be among them."

Dibaba, 24, is the current world record holder in the women's 1500m and holds three further world records indoors.

Dibaba, the sister of three-time Olympic champion Tirunesh, claimed gold in the 1500m in the Beijing worlds, also taking bronze in the 5000m in an ambitious attempt at a double.

"After being a finalist and narrowly missing out on this award one year ago, I am very proud to be recognised by the fans and experts of our sport.

"I had a great season and truly enjoyed competing around the world, from Monaco where I managed to establish a world record, to Beijing where I finally captured my first world outdoor title," Dibaba said.

"My focus in 2016 will be the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Portland and as preparation for that I will try to break the world indoor mile record in Stockholm on February 17."

The IAAF normally holds a star-studded season-ending awards gala in Monaco, but that was cancelled this year following allegations of corruption at the highest echelons of world track and field's governing body.

IAAF president Sebastian Coe commented: "While the athletics family is not gathering together as usual in Monaco, we rightly celebrate the marvellous 2015 achievements of the athletes.

"A world record when winning a world title is a rare feat and capped two unequalled days of decathlon brilliance from Ashton in Beijing. Genzebe, your win in Beijing was as assured and your 1500m world record a few weeks earlier a run of true grit and determination."

Read more on:    iaaf  |  usain bolt  |  sebastian coe  |  atheletics
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