Almaz Ayana and Bolt win IAAF awards

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Usain Bolt of Jamaica (R) and Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia pose with their awards after being elected male and female World Athlete of the Year 2016 in Monaco, December 2, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillar
By Mitch Phillips | MONACO

Jamaica’s Usain Bolt and Ethiopian distance runner Almaz Ayana were crowned as the IAAF’s athletes of the year on Friday.

Bolt completed his amazing Olympic “triple triple” of 100metres, 200metres and 4x100m relay golds at the Rio Games in August despite missing much of the season through injury and took the award for the sixth time.

He clocked season’s bests of 9.81 and 19.78 to win the 100m and 200m in Rio and then anchored the Jamaican team to a world-leading 37.27 when winning the 4x100m.


He also went undefeated throughout the whole season at all distances, including heats.

Bolt, 30, plans to run the 100m at next year’s world championships in London, seeking to add to his haul of 11 world titles.

Ayana produced a stunning run on the first day of athletics in Rio when she shattered the 10,000-metres world record that had stood for 23 years.

Her time of 29 minutes, 17.45 seconds smashed the mark of 29:31.78 that was set by Wang Junxia of China in 1993.

Ayana also took bronze in the Rio 5000m, her only loss of the year over the distance. She ended the year as the Diamond Race winner for that discipline.


She becomes the third Ethiopian woman to win the IAAF award, following Genzebe Dibaba in 2015 and Meseret Defar in 2007.

(Editing by Toby Davis)

1 Comment

  1. Congratulations our golden daughter!!!! You made us all very proud!!! Folks, did you see how she sprang from one mile to another like a gracious gazelle during the Rio final? Did you see her leaving everyone in the dust? Did you see that? I still get goose bumps watching the clips. All those Paula’s in all ‘have beens’ were trying to discredit Ayana’s out of this world feat in thinly veiled questions. All that ‘I’m not sure that I can understand that. When I saw the world record set in 1993, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. And Ayana has absolutely blitzed that time.’ How about the other sore loser Sarah Lahti who Ayana left shattered by more than a mile behind who went saying ‘It is too easy for her. We see no facial expressions while the rest of us are struggling for life at the back. How much difference can there be.’ What is new with our athletes? He late ‘uncle’ Obbo Abebe Bikila had done in Rome in 1960; Yifter ‘the shifter’ did it in Moscow in 1980 and Obbo Mamo left everyone way far behind and they were all gasping for their last breath in Distrito Federal in 1968. You just sit back there and watch!!! The next jaw dropping performance at the marathons is coming to the neighborhood near you after she or one of her compatriots gabbling up the entire 42Km at or in less than 2 hours!!! How about that? You wanna bet? No one uhh!!! That was I thought!!! Just sit back in your retirement recliner and watch!!!!

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