Barshim and Thiam get 2017 IAAF Athletes of Year!

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Barshim_MutazR-WC17.jpgMutaz Barshim, photo by PhotoRun.net
Thiam_NafissatouHJR-WC17.jpgNafissatou Thiam, photo by PhotoRun.net
Barshim and Thiam
MONACO (MON): New names as Athletes of the Year at IAAF Athletics Awards 2017. For first time male high jumper and Asian athlete was the winner in person of Mutaz Essa Barshim. He ended the 2017 season with nine of the best 11 jumps in the world this year, capped by his two 2.40m leaps. He is the first high jumper in history to leap 2.40m or higher in five successive years. He was surprised and emotionally very happy. Barshim plans to compete during the indoor season 2018. Belgian Olympic winner Nafissatou Thiam is first combined eventer to win the award since Jackie Joyner-Kersee in 1994 and first Belgian ever. Last year she won the Female Rising Star Award. Thiam will decide later whether she will compete indoors. IAAF President Sebastian Coe presented the trophy to Barshim, while International Athletics Foundation (IAF) Honorary President HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco presented the trophy to Thiam. World champions got the Rising Star Awards. Norways Karsten Warholm who won the 400 m hurdles in London and Venezuela´s Yulimar Rojas, the triple jump winner. Widely considered one of the greatest sprinters of all-time Usain Bolt will get the President´s Award given to athletes as recognition for their special careers. Bolt spoke to guests of the Awards night via a video message. Coaching Achievement award went to South African grand dame Ans Botha who at age of 75 leads the preparation of Wayde Van Niekerk. Women in Athletics Award which recognises outstanding achievements and contributions made to develop, encourage and strengthen the participation of women and girls at all levels of the sport went to British Athletics long time official Cherry Alexander. She was managing director of the World Championships 2017 in London. Paul Sanwell's black and white image of Australia's Sally Pearson in the semi-finals of the 100m hurdles at the IAAF World Championships London 2017 won the Photograph Award which was given for first time.

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