MONTE CARLO, Monaco >> High jumper Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar and heptathlete Nafissatou Thiam of Belgium have been named the IAAF’s world athletes of the year, while retiring great Usain Bolt was given the president’s award.
Barshim and Thiam also each won world titles in London this year.
The 26-year-old Barshim completed an undefeated season across 11 competitions and won the Diamond League title. He became the first high jumper in history to leap 2.40 meters or higher in five successive years.
The 23-year-old Thiam opened the year by taking the European indoor pentathlon title then she climbed to third on the heptathlon all-time list with a performance of 7,013 points at a meeting in Gotzis, Austria, in May.
IAAF president Sebastian Coe said, “I’m particularly excited by the young generation of talent which so dramatically came of age on the world stage in 2017. Athletics looks forward to a strong and exciting future safe in your hands.”
The president’s award given to eight-time Olympic gold Bolt, who retired after taking bronze in the 100 meters at worlds, “recognizes and honors great service to athletics.”
In other awards, 400-meter hurdler Karsten Warholm of Norway and triple jumper Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela were named the male and female rising stars, respectively.