Eaton and Dibaba win top honours

MONACO • The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) named American decathlete Ashton Eaton and Ethiopian middle-distance runner Genzebe Dibaba as World Athletes of the Year.

Eaton broke his own decathlon world record at the World Championships in Beijing in August, beating his previous best by nine points to notch up 9,045.

The 27-year-old also won world gold in Moscow in 2013, a year after clinching Olympic gold in London.

Eaton took the award despite Jamaican sprint superstar Usain Bolt clinching a fifth treble gold showing in a major championship in Beijing.

He had performed the same feat at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics in Beijing and London as well as the World Championships in 2009 and 2013 in Berlin and Moscow.

"While I'm honoured that I am considered the 'artist' of the year, I did not beat Usain and (triple jumper) Christian (Taylor); my work simply differed in design," Eaton said.

"They are some of the most talented and beautiful performers of all time. I'm flattered to be among them."

Dibaba is the current world record holder in the women's 1,500m and holds three further world records indoors.

The Ethiopian, sister of three-time Olympic champion Tirunesh, claimed gold in the 1,500m in the Beijing World Championships. She also took bronze in the 5,000m in an ambitious attempt at a double.

The IAAF normally holds a star-studded season-ending awards gala in Monaco.

But it was cancelled this year following allegations of corruption at the highest echelons of world track and field's governing body.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 28, 2015, with the headline 'Eaton and Dibaba win top honours'. Print Edition | Subscribe