Belgium’s Nafissatou Thiam was named female World Athlete of the Year at the IAAF Athletics Awards in Monaco on Friday (24) evening.
Thiam became the first European to claim the women’s award since Croatian high jumper Blanka Vlasic in 2010 and only the second heptathlete in award history after Jackie Joyner-Kersee in 1994.
Thiam began her season by claiming the pentathlon title at the European Indoor Athletics Championships in Belgrade where she set a world-leading total of 4870 before adding to her title haul at the IAAF World Championships in London with gold in the heptathlon with 6784.
But the standout performance of her season came at the Gotzis Hypo-Meeting in May where she became just the fourth heptathlete in history to score over 7000 points. The 23-year-old moved to third on the world all-time lists behind Joyner-Kersee and Carolina Kluft with a score of 7013.
Thiam set five outdoor lifetime bests - and a national javelin record of 59.32m - across those two days in Gotzis and also equalled her lifetime best of 1.98m in the high jump.
World high jump champion Mutaz Essa Barshim from Qatar was named male World Athlete of the Year ahead of Great Britain’s Mo Farah and South Africa’s Wayde van Niekerk.
After being named male Rising Star at the Golden Tracks award ceremony in Vilnius, Lithuania last month, world 400m hurdles champion Karsten Warholm from Norway was also named male Rising Star last night.
World triple jump champion Yulimar Rojas from Venezuela was named female Rising Star.