Kipoche, Ibarguen are IAAF Athletes of the Year

Female athlete of the year Caterine Ibarguen and Male athlete of the year Eliud Kipchoge pose for a photo with their awards alongside IAAF President Sebastian Coe and Prince Albert II of Monaco during the Grimaldi Forum, Monaco, Dec 4, 2018. [Photo/Agencies]

Kenyan marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge and Colombian long jumper Caterine Ibarguen were named International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Male and Female Athlete of the Year at the federation’s end of year award ceremony here on Tuesday.

Kipchoge won the Berlin Marathon in 2:01:39 in September, improving the previous world record by 1 minute and 18 seconds, the biggest single improvement in a men’s marathon world record since 1967.

On the women’s side, Ibarguen added a dominant performance in the long jump to her already impressive triple jump displays. The Colombian won both the long jump and triple jump titles at the IAAF Diamond League finals. She was unbeaten in all eight of her triple jump competitions, ending the year with a world-leading mark of 14.96m.

“I’m struggling to stand up because I’m shaking so much,” said Ibarguen, who also expressed her gratitude to all of her fans.

Sweden’s Armand Duplantis, who set a stunning world U-20 record of 6.05m in the pole vault to win the senior European title, unsurprisingly claimed the Male Rising Star of the Year, while American sprinter Sydney McLaughlin triumphed in the women’s category.

“How high can you go? Is my world record safe?” Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie, the pole vault world indoor record holder and one of the ceremony hosts, asked Duplantis.

“I think I can jump higher than you,” the Swedish star responded in a confident mood.

Switzerland’s 91-year-old Andreas Brugger won the President’s Award this year. Woman of the Year belonged to Evelyn Claudio Lopez, as the Puerto Rican has dedicated her life to promoting the cause of women’s athletics.

The Coaching Achievement Award went to the United States distance running coach Joe Vigil for his 50-year coaching career, while Felix Sanchez Arrazola won the Athletics Photograph of the Year award.

A host of athletes who broke world records in 2018, including Chinese race walker Liang Rui, appeared on stage to receive their accolades. According to the IAAF, so far in 2018 there have been 10 ratified senior world records and 10 ratified world U-20 records in total.

China Daily