World Athletics Awards 2020: Mondo Duplantis, Yulimar Rojas named the best

Duplantis broke the world record in the pole vault twice, topping 6.17M and 6.18M on back-to-back weekends in February just a few weeks before the COVID-19 brought the sporting world to a halt.

When competition finally resumed, Duplantis capped his season and produced the highest outdoor vault of all time (6.15M) and finished the year undefeated in 16 competitions.

Duplantis, who celebrated his 21st birthday last month, is the youngest athlete ever to be named the World Athlete of the Year.

“It was a really strange season, for me and everybody, but I was able to put it together and get some pretty good results,” said Duplantis, who had received the Rising Star Award in 2018.

Like most of the other athletes, Rojas competed sparingly in 2020, but she made each of her appearances count.

The 25-year-old broke the South American indoor triple jump record in her first competition of the year, reaching 15.03M in Metz, France. In her next competition, at the World Athletics Indoor Tour meeting in Madrid, she leaped 15.43M in the final round of the competition to break the world indoor record by seven centimetres.

She competed just twice outdoors, winning the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Monaco and again in Castellon, Spain, where she sailed 14.71M, the farthest leap in the world outdoors this year.

“I honestly didn’t expect this, I really cannot believe it,” said Rojas, who had received the Rising Star Award in 2017.

Other awards:

Member Federations Award: Polish Athletics Association

COVID Inspiration Award: Ultimate Garden Clash

President’s Award: Tommie Smith, Peter Norman and John Carlos

Coaching Achievement Award: Helena and Greg Duplantis

Athletes Community Award: Athletics Clubs

World Athletics Photograph of the Year: Michael Steele’s photograph of young children competing at the Discovery Cross Country Championships in Eldoret, Kenya

(Source: World Athletics Media)

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