Ethiopian distance runner Almaz Ayana has been named the International Athletic Association Federations’ (IAAF) Female World Athlete of the Year at its annual awards in Monte Carlo Friday. Ayana earned the award alongside Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, who was selected as the Male Athletes of the Year.
At the 2016 Olympics Games, Ayana won gold in the 10,000-meter race, smashing the world record with a time of 29:17.45. The runner, 25, also ran the second-fastest 5,000-meter race of all time in June (14:12.59). She won a bronze medal in the event in Rio.
The Ethiopian was one of three finalists for the IAAF award, beating out Jamaican sprinter Elaine Thompson, who won gold in the 100-meter and 200-meter races in Rio, and Polish hammer thrower Anita Wlodarczyk, who broke the world record to become the 2016 Olympic champion.
Nafissatou Thiam of Belgium, 21, won the IAAF’s Female Rising Star award. Thiam became an Olympic champion in Rio by scoring a world-leading national record of 6,810 points in the heptathlon.