05 December 2020

Two-time triple jump world champion Yulimar Rojas named World Athlete of the Year

Triple jump star Yulimar Rojas has been named World Athlete of the Year at the 2020 World Athletics virtual Awards.

The 25 year-old from Venezuela had a stellar season despite several events being disrupted due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

She broke the South American indoor triple jump record during her first competition of the year in France, reaching 15.03m. 

She then bettered her jump at the World Athletics Indoor Tour meeting in Madrid, where she hit 15.43m, breaking the world indoor record by seven centimetres.

Of her award, she said: "I honestly didn't expect this, I really cannot believe it.

"It is such a joy and I'm filled with happiness. Just being one of the finalists felt like winning to me; being nominated among other exceptional athletes was already a wonderful achievement.

"This victory means a lot to me and to all of those who work with me every day, everyone who gives me strength and motivation every day. 

"And now, being the best athlete of the year is an additional inspiration for me for 2021. It is going to be a great year and I have a lot of ambition. This gives me a lot of strength to keep on track with my career.”

The other female finalists were long-distance stars Letesenbet Gidey and Sifan Hassan, world half marathon winner Peres Jepchirchir and sprinter Elaine Thompson-Herah.

GB’s running sensation Laura Muir was a nominee but failed to make the shortlist. 

In the men’s award, Sweden’s Mondo Duplantis was named the winner after the 21 year-old broke the world record in the pole vault twice in back-to-back weekends in February. 

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