IAAF President’s Award Recognises Usain Bolt

Sprint legend Usain Bolt was awarded with the President’s Award, while Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim and Nafissatou Thiam of Belgium have been named the male and female World Athletes of the Year at the IAAF Athletics Awards 2017, held at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco yesterday.

Barshim, 26, was one of the most consistent and dominant athletes of the year. Starting with a 2.35m leap in Jeddah in April and ending with a 2.40m jump in Eberstadt in August, Barshim pieced together an undefeated season across 11 competitions.

Barshim ended the 2017 season with nine of the best 11 jumps in the world this year, capped by his two 2.40m leaps. He is the first high jumper in history to leap 2.40m or higher in five successive years.

He won the world title in noteworthy mold, clearing all of his heights up to his winning mark of 2.35m on his first attempt. One week after his triumph in London, he jumped a world-leading 2.40m in Birmingham and followed it four days later with a winning jump of 2.36m in Zurich to secure the IAAF Diamond League title.

Thiam, 23, the beneficiary of last year’s Female Rising Star Award after claiming the Olympic heptathlon title, began 2017 by winning the European indoor pentathlon title with a world-leading 4870 points.

Two months later, the 23-year-old climbed to third on the world heptathlon all-time list after winning at the IAAF Combined Events Challenge meeting in Gotzis with 7013 points, producing a series that included a 1.98m high jump and a 59.32m javelin throw.

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