Eaton, Dibaba crowned 2015 IAAF world athletes of the year
The United States' Ashton Eaton and Ethiopia's Genzebe Dibaba were named the male and female International Association of Athletics Federations World Athletes of the Year for 2015, yesterday. Both athletes set world records during 2015, Eaton in the decathlon and Dibaba in the 1500 m, and won gold medals in these events at the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015.
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 and improved his own three-year-old mark by nine points. Notable among his individual events in Beijing was a 45.00 400 m at the end of the first day, the fastest one lap of the track ever run within a decathlon.
"Athletes spend the most vigorous years of human life, arguably called the 'best years', working to hone their abilities.
"I accept this award on behalf of all of us athletes who love what we do."
Dibaba, after setting a world indoor 5000 m record of 14:18.86, was then unbeaten in her five 1500 m 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 1500 m, winning every race comfortably, and she also took a 5000 m bronze medal.
"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,' said Dibaba.