Pole vault world record holder Mondo Duplantis became the youngest ever winner of the male Athlete of the Year Award with Yulimar Rojas being recognised for breaking the world indoor triple jump record
Swedish pole vaulter Mondo Duplantis and Venezuelan triple jumper Yulimar Rojas are the 2020 Male and Female World Athletes of the Year.
They are their countries' first recipients of the prestigious athletics award announced during the virtual World Athletics Awards on Saturday (5 December).
At 20, Duplantis is the youngest ever winner of the Male Athlete of the Year Award after twice breaking the absolute world record (6.17m and 6.18m) in February before producing the highest outdoor vault in history (6.15m) in September.
I just wanted to go out there and show the world what I am capable of. - Mondo Duplantis on winning the World Athlete of the Year Award.
"I don’t need to be the face of the sport. I just try to go there and jump high and break world records," he added.
Rojas, the pride of Venezuela
Rojas who broke the world indoor triple jump record with a leap of 15.43m, finished the shortened 2020 season undefeated in four triple jump competitions indoors and outdoors.
She was delighted and surprised by the award that saw her picked ahead of Letesenbet Gidey of Ethiopia, Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya, Jamaica's Olympic champion sprinter Elaine Thompson-Herah, and Dutch long-distance star Sifan Hassan.
"I truly cannot believe this. I did not expect to be the winner This victory means a lot for me and all of those who work with me," said the double world champion.
"Being the best athlete of the year is an additional inspiration for 2021. This gives me a lot of strength to keep on track with my career. I feel extremely grateful and even more motivated."
By the Olympic Channel