Kenya’s marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge and Colombian jumper Caterine Ibarguen were honoured as IAAF athletes of the year at athletics’ annual awards ceremony on Tuesday. Olympic champion Kipchoge shattered the world marathon record by 78 seconds as he completed the Berlin Marathon in two hours, one minute and 39 seconds while Ibarguen was the Diamond League champion in both the long jump and triple jump.
Both are first-time winners of the award. Kipchoge’s performance marked the biggest improvement in the marathon record since Australian Derek Clayton took almost two and a half minutes off the mark in 1967. The 34-year-old Kenyan also won the London Marathon in 2018.
He also missed by 26 seconds breaking the magical two-hour barrier when he crossed the line in 2:00.25 in a special race on the Monza circuit in Italy in 2017 that was not eligible for record purposes.
Ibarguen, the Olympic champion in the triple jump, was undefeated in eight finals in the event. Her triple jump of 14.96 metres in Rabat was the longest in the world in 2018.
The 34-year-old also was IAAF Continental Cup and Central American and Caribbean champion in both the long jump and triple jump. Bahamian sprinter Shaunae Miller-Uibo, British sprinter Dina Asher-Smith, Kenyan steeplechase world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech and Belgian heptathlete Nafissatou Thiam, the 2017 winner, were the other female finalists.
French decathlon world record holder Kevin Mayer, U.S. 60m world record-setter Christian Coleman, Swedish pole vaulter Armand “Mondo” Duplantis and Qatari hurdler Abderrahman Samba were the other finalists for the men’s award.
A three-way voting process determined the shortlists. Votes by IAAF Council members counted for 50 percent of the results with online public votes and ballots by the IAAF Family counting for 25 percent each. Qatari high jumper Mutaz Essa Barshim and Belgian heptathlete Thiam were the 2017 winners.