The International Association of Athletics Federations, yesterday, awarded the bests of best of 2016. In an event held to recognize the best performers of the year along with the best coaching, contributions towards the development of sport and upcoming iconic players, IAAF covered as many aspects of the Athletics World as it could, and also the Administration.
Here is a list of awardees who stormed the Athletics World this year with their performances:
World Athlete of the Year (Male): Usain Bolt is the name which has won this award five time priorly and this year was no exception. The fastest man on earth, Bolt, added to his legacy by earning the trophy for a record sixth occasion. The Jamaican who happens to be the fastest man in history, this year, successfully defended his Olympic titles in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m, bringing his lifetime tally of Olympic gold medals to nine.
Bolt clocked season’s bests of 9.81 and 19.78 to win the 100m and 200m at the Rio 2016 Summer Games and then anchored the Jamaican team to a world-leading 37.27 when winning the 4x100m at this year’s Olympics. The Iconic sportsperson went undefeated throughout the whole season at all distances, including heats.
IAAF President Sebastian Coe presented the trophy to Bolt.
World Athlete of the Year (Female): Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia was named the female World Athlete of the Year at the IAAF Athletics Awards 2016, held at Sporting Monte Carlo on Friday. The Ethiopian had a record-breaking year wherein she recorded the fastest 10,000m debut in history in June. Further, Ayana went on to win the Olympic title at the distance in a world record of 29:17.45.
It was not something where she stopped at, as she added to her Olympic medal haul, a bronze in the 5000m, her only loss of the year. The Ethiopian after clocking three of the eight fastest times at 5000m, ended the year as the Diamond Race winner in 5000m. The Award is third for any Ethiopian Woman, following Genzebe Dibaba in 2015 and Meseret Defar in 2007.
The International Athletics Foundation (IAF) Honorary President HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco presented the trophy to Ayana.
Rising Star of the Year (Male): Andre De Grasse of Canada was named the Rising Star of the year 2016 (Male) as the Canadian Sprinter earned the Olympic 200m silver medal in Rio, having set a national record of 19.80 in the semifinal.
De Grasse, 21, took bronze over 100m in a PB of 9.91 and anchored the Canadian team to bronze in the 4x100m, setting a national record of 37.64.
Rising Star of the Year (Female): Nafissatou Thiam of Belgium was named the Rising Star of the year 2016 (Female) as the Belgian won gold in the heptathlon at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with a world-leading national record of 6810.
Thiam is thus the second highest scoring heptathlon athlete ever at the age of 21, behind Carolina Kluft who leads the chart. The Belgian all-round talent, en route to her Olympic triumph, she set a world heptathlon best of 1.98m in the high jump; higher than the winning leap in the individual high jump final.
Coaching Achievement of the year: Harry Marra of US won the Coaching Achievement of the year award for guiding Ashton Eaton to his second successive decathlon gold medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
During this performance Eaton equalled the Olympic record, and his third consecutive world indoor heptathlon title. In addition, Marra also guided Brianne Theisen-Eaton to the pentathlon title at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Portland 2016. Brianne Theisen-Eaton broke the North American record during the event at Portland. The Athlete went on to win the bronze medal in the heptathlon at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Presidents Award of the year: Tegla Loroupe of the Refugee Olympic Team which participated at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games was named for the Presidents award of the year. This award recognises and honours great service to athletics.
She was the Chef de Mission for the Refugee Olympic Team wherein the former marathon world record-holder helped select the Refugee Olympic Team. Earlier, the Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation had held a competition at the Kakuma refugee camp in north-west Kenya.
Women in Athletics Award of the year: Polyxeni Argeitaki of Greece won the award for her outstanding achievements and contributions made to develop, encourage and strengthen the participation of women and girls at all levels of the sport.
The Greek is an assistant professor of athletics at the National Kapodistrian University of Athens. Argeitaki, former Greek champion at middle-distance events, is the treasurer, council member and president of the scientific committee at the Hellenic Athletics Federation. Argeitaki has also written more than 50 scientific publications.