The best athletes of 2018 were recognised at glamorous gala evening

Eliud Kipchoge and Caterine Ibarguen were each crowned 2018 World Athlete of the Year.

They were presented with their trophies at the annual IAAF Athletics Awards at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco.

Eliud Kipchoge and Caterine Ibarguen named male and female World Athletes of the Year
Eliud Kipchoge and Caterine Ibarguen named male and female World Athletes of the YearEliud Kipchoge and Caterine Ibarguen named male and female World Athletes of the Year at the IAAF Athletics Awards in Monaco.

Male athlete of the year

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge was clear favourite, and picked up the award after a stellar year.

The Rio 2016 Olympic Champion smashed the marathon world record in Berlin by 78 seconds, completing the 42.195km distance in a time of 2:01:39. He also claimed his third London Marathon title.

While collecting his award, the 34-year-old said ''this award actually means a lot to me. It is significant of all the hard work I've been doing all my career.''

Female Athlete Of The Year

Colombia's Caterine Ibarguen was shaking as she accepted the award for Female Athlete of the Year.

The 34-year old was unstoppable in both the long jump and triple jump this season.

In both horizontal jump disciplines she was IAAF Continental Cup winner, Diamond League champion, and Central American and Caribbean champion.

Ibarguen spoke in Spanish while being interviewed on stage, but didn't need a translator when she was asked if she will compete in both long jump and triple jump at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha next year.

''Top secret'', she said without hesitation in English.

Rising Stars

Swedish Pole Valuter Armand Duplantis took the honour for Male Rising Star.

The 19-year-old was recognised for a stellar year where he became senior European Champion with a world-leading height of 6.05m.

He was also crowned U20 champion and claimed six world U20 records, indoor and out.

''Pole vaulting is a very strange and unique event. There's a lot that goes into it. Of course from my parents, they are the reason I am up here today.''

Female Rising Star Award was given to American sprinter Sydney McLaughlin.

Among her accolades for 2018, the 19-year-old broke her own world U20 400m hurdles record of 52.75.

The time also moved her into the top 10 on the world all-time list.

There were other awards given out during the gala evening:

  • The Coaching Achievement Award was won by American Joe Vigil who coached 22 Olympic athletes in his career and was US team coach on two Olympic teams.
  • After volunteering in athletics for 44 years, Evelyn Lopez was recognised at Women of the Year for her dedication to developing sport and athletics.
  • Andreas Brugger was acknowledged for a lifetime dedicated to promoting and developing athletics with the 2018 President's Award.
  • Ethiopia's Selemon Barega was a finalist for Male Rising Star of the Year and while he did not take home the award, the image of his mud-splattered face saw Spanish photographer Felix Sanchez Arrazola win Athletics Photograph of the Year.

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