Kenya’s world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge and Colombian jumper Caterina Ibarguen were named the 2018 IAAF male and female athletes of the Year respectively at a gala held Tuesday night in Monaco.
Kipchoge’s dominance in the marathon, winning all but one of his 11 career marathons, and all in under 2 hours, 6 minutes, except at the Rio Olympics, a championships race where he clocked 2 hours, 8 minutes and 44 seconds, hoist him to legend status.
Kipchoge’s main competitors were French decathlete Kevin Mayer and American sprinter Christian Coleman.
In the women’s awards Colombian jumper Ibarguen beat Kenya’s Beatrice Chepkoech for the Female Athlete of the Year title.
Chepkoech improved the world steeplechase record by eight seconds, running 8 minutes, 44:32 seconds in Monaco at the Herculis Diamond League meeting on the 20th of July this year and winning seven out of her eight steeplechase races this season.
Colombian Ibarguen is an IAAF Continental Cup winner, Diamond League champion and double champion in the long jump and triple jump in Central America and the Caribbean.
She was unbeaten in the triple jump and most memorably won back-to-back long jump and triple jump titles at the Zurich and Brussels Diamond League meetings in September, within a 24-hour period.
No South American – male or female – has won the athlete of the year award in its 30-year existence.
Pole vaulter Armand Duplantis beat Kenya’s Rhonex Kipruto to the rising star award while American hurdler Sydney McLaughlin was the best rising female athlete.
American Joe Vigil was named Coach of the Year while Mexican Evelyn Lopez was picked as the 2018 Woman of the Year for her contribution to the sport.