Athletics: Marathon man Kipchoge, hurdler Muhammad world athletes of year

Dalilah Muhammad of the US wins the Female Athlete of the Year Award.
Dalilah Muhammad of the US wins the Female Athlete of the Year Award.PHOTO: REUTERS

MONACO (REUTERS) - Kenya's marathon sub-two hour man Eliud Kipchoge and American 400m hurdles world record holder Dalilah Muhammad were named World Athletics athletes of the year on Saturday (Nov 23).

Their titles were announced at the annual awards ceremony of the sport's governing body in Monaco.

Kipchoge retained the award thanks to his barrier-busting marathon in Vienna in October.

The Kenyan Olympic champion clocked one hour, 59 minutes and 40 seconds over the 42.2km distance, though the record is unofficial because he used rotating pacemakers.

"I'm happy to be the first human being to run under two hours," said Kipchoge, who also holds the official world record of 2:01:39.

Muhammad, meanwhile, broke her own world mark of 52.16 seconds in winning her speciality at the world championships in Doha in October.

"It's been an amazing year," said the 29-year-old.

"It's been a tough year and it's just come home excellently. I never imagined coming home with this."

Muhammad is aiming to defend her Olympic 400m hurdles title next year in Tokyo.

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge (screen) gives a speech via a video live as he receives his award. PHOTO: AFP

Asked how she would deal with the pressure, Muhammad said: "I think the pressure comes along with the sport. (In) Tokyo I'll be able to handle it."