Duo among those to receive recognition at World Athletics Gala in Monaco as Britain’s double world junior champion Morgan Lake picks up Rising Star award
Valerie Adams and Renaud Lavillenie have been named as the World Athletes of the Year at the World Athletics Gala in Monaco.
It is the first time that two field athletes have received the honour in the same year, with shot putter Adams and pole vaulter Lavillenie both present at the Chapiteau de Fontvieille to pick up their trophies.
Adams, who in 2014 extended her unbeaten streak to 56 competitions winning another world indoor title and Commonwealth gold along the way, is the first female thrower to have been named World Athlete of the Year. She is also the first athlete from New Zealand to receive the award.
The 30-year-old had been named as a finalist four times and was last year beaten by Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce as the winner’s fellow Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt picked up the men’s prize.
This year Adams was handed the award ahead of Genzebe Dibaba who set three world indoor records in just 15 days in February over 1500m, 2 miles and 3000m as well as won the world indoor 3000m title and claimed victory outdoors over the same distance at the Continental Cup, and Dafne Schippers, who won European 100m and 200m gold despite still concentrating on the heptathlon.
Lavillenie was voted the male winner in a year which has seen him clear 6.16m indoors to break Sergey Bubka’s 21-year-old pole vault world record, claim his third European title and win the overall Diamond League title. He is the first male pole vaulter to ever win the award.
He was selected ahead of fellow finalists Dennis Kimetto, who became the first to break 2:03 for the marathon with 2:02:57 in Berlin, and 2.43m high jumper Mutaz Essa Barshim who has excelled in a year of incredible battles over the bar.
Other athletes to receive recognition for achievements in 2014 included Britain’s double world junior champion Morgan Lake who was named winner of the Rising Star award along with France’s world junior 110m hurdles record-holder Wilhem Belocian.
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