Eaton, Dibaba crowned 2015 IAAF Athletes of the Year
American Ashton Eaton and Ethiopia's Genzebe Dibaba were yesterday named the male and female IAAF World Athletes of the Year for 2015.
Both athletes set world records during 2015, Eaton in the decathlon and Dibaba in the 1500m, and won gold medals in these events at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing.
Eaton became the first decathlete to win the male World Athlete of the Year award after his spectacular performance in the Chinese capital, his only decathlon of the year, when he set a world record of 9045 points. He improved his own three-year-old mark by nine points.
"Athletes spend the most vigorous years of human life, arguably called the 'best years', working to hone their abilities. So, when an athlete competes, what people are witnessing is the manifestation of what a human being is capable of when they choose to direct all of their time and effort towards something," Eaton said in a release from the IAAF.
He added: "While I'm honoured that I am considered the 'artist' of the year, I did not beat Usain Bolt and Christian Taylor; my work simply differed in design. They are some of the most talented and beautiful performers of all time. I'm flattered to be among them."
Dibaba, after setting a world indoor 5000m record of 14:18.86, was then unbeaten in her five 1500m races during the summer. First, she ran an African record of 3:54.11 in Barcelona, the fastest time in the world for almost 12 years, and then topped that with a stunning world record of 3:50.07 in Monaco to beat a mark that had been on the books since 1993. In Beijing, Dibaba was majestic through all three rounds of the 1500m, winning every race comfortably, and she also took a 5000m bronze medal.
"I am humbled and honoured to receive this award from the IAAF," said Dibaba. "It feels so good to be the World Athlete of the Year."
IAAF Rising Star
- Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (Japan) and Candace Hill (USA)
Sani Brown, 16, took a 100m and 200m sprint double at the IAAF World Youth Championships Cali 2015, winning in championship records of 10.28 and 20.34, both World Youth-leading times.
Hill, also 16, ran a world youth 100m best of 10.98 before then taking a 100m and 200m double in Cali, winning the longer sprint in a world youth best of 22.43.
IAAF Coaching Award
- Bart Bennema (Netherlands)
Bennema, 38, is best known as the coach to the multitalented world 200m champion Dafne Schippers. The Dutch former international decathlete is also the coach to a number of the Netherlands' other leading athletes, including double 2014 world junior medallist Nadine Visser.