The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) announced USA’s Ashton Eaton and Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba as the male and female IAAF World Athletes of the Year for 2015 on today.
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 Beijing 2015.
Ashton Eaton became the first decathlete to win the male World Athlete of the Year award after his stellar performance Beijing, China where he set a world record of 9045 and improved his own three-year-old mark by nine points.
“While I’m honoured that I am considered the ‘artist’ of the year, I did not beat Usain and Christian; 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.
Meanwhile, Dibaba, who set a world indoor 5000m record of 14:18.86, was unbeaten in her 1500m races during the summer. At the World Championships in Beijing, she was no less formidable. She won all three rounds of the 1500m comfortably. 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.
But though Bolt missed out on this title, he took to Facebook to express gratitude for another award he received.
“Thanks to the Caribbean Sports Award organised by the Caribbean Sports Journalists’ Association for choosing me as the Sports Man of the Year #Honoured.”