Track-and-Field

T&FN has been choosing an Athlete Of The Year on the men’s side since 1959, and among the women since ’74. In general, the men’s choices have been dominated by distance runners, the women by sprinters.

The all-time No. 1s, with the event(s) in which they made the World Rankings that year:

Men

1959 ….. Martin Lauer (West Germany) 110 Hurdles, decathlon
1960 ….. Rafer Johnson (USA) decathlon
1961 ….. Ralph Boston (USA) long jump, 110H
1962 ….. Peter Snell (New Zealand) 800, 1500/Mile
1963 ….. C.K. Yang (Taiwan) decathlon, pole vault
1964 ….. Peter Snell (New Zealand) 800, 1500/Mile
1965 ….. Ron Clarke (Australia) 5000, 10,000
1966 ….. Jim Ryun (USA) 800, 1500/Mile
1967 ….. Jim Ryun (USA) 1500/Mile
1968 ….. Bob Beamon (USA) long jump
1969 ….. Bill Toomey (USA) decathlon
1970 ….. Randy Matson (USA) shot put
1971 ….. Rod Milburn (USA) 110H
1972 ….. Lasse Viren (Finland) 5000, 10,000
1973 ….. Ben Jipcho (Kenya) 1500/Mile, steeple, 5000
1974 ….. Rick Wohlhuter (USA) 800, 1500/Mile
1975 ….. John Walker (New Zealand) 800, 1500/Mile
1976 ….. Alberto Juantorena (Cuba) 400, 800
1977 ….. Alberto Juantorena (Cuba) 400, 800
1978 ….. Henry Rono (Kenya) steeple, 5000, 10,000
1979 ….. Seb Coe (Great Britain) 800, 1500/Mile
1980 ….. Edwin Moses (USA) 400 Hurdles
1981 ….. Seb Coe (Great Britain) 800, 1500/Mile
1982 ….. Carl Lewis (USA) 100, 200, long jump
1983 ….. Carl Lewis (USA) 100, 200, long jump
1984 ….. Carl Lewis (USA) 100, 200, long jump
1985 ….. Sa•d Aouita (Morocco) 1500/Mile, 5000
1986 ….. Yuriy Syedikh (Soviet Union) hammer
1987 ….. Sa•d Aouita (Morocco) 1500/Mile, 5000
(Ben Johnson [Canada] led voting at time, but retroactively stripped of honor)
1988 ….. Sergey Bubka (Soviet Union) pole vault
1989 ….. Roger Kingdom (USA) 110 Hurdles
1990 ….. Michael Johnson (USA) 200, 400
1991 ….. Sergey Bubka (Soviet Union) pole vault
1992 ….. Kevin Young (USA) 400 Hurdles
1993 ….. Noureddine Morceli (Algeria) 1500/Mile
1994 ….. Noureddine Morceli (Algeria) 1500/Mile, 5000
1995 ….. Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia) 5000, 10,000
1996 ….. Michael Johnson (USA) 200, 400
1997 ….. Wilson Kipketer (Denmark) 800
1998 ….. Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia) 5000, 10,000
1999 ….. Hicham El Guerrouj (Morocco) 1500/Mile
2000 ….. Virgilijus Alekna (Lithuania) discus
2001 ….. Hicham El Guerrouj (Morocco) 1500/Mile
2002 ….. Hicham El Guerrouj (Morocco) 1500/Mile
2003 ….. Felix S‡nchez (Dominican Republic) 400 Hurdles
2004 ….. Kenenisa Bekele (Ethiopia) 5000, 10,000
2005 ….. Kenenisa Bekele (Ethiopia) 5000, 10,000
2006 ….. Asafa Powell (Jamaica) 100

Women

1974 ….. Irena Szewinska (Poland) 100, 200, 400
1975 ….. Faina Melnik (Soviet Union) shot, discus
1976 ….. Tatyana Kazankina (Soviet Union) 800, 1500/Mile
1977 ….. Rosemarie Ackermann (East Germany) high jump
1978 ….. Marita Koch (East Germany) 100, 200, 400
1979 ….. Marita Koch (East Germany) 100, 200, 400
1980 ….. Ilona Briesenick (East Germany) shot
1981 ….. Evelyn Ashford (USA) 100, 200
1982 ….. Marita Koch (East Germany) 100, 200, 400
1983 ….. Jarmila Kratochv’lov‡ (Czechoslovakia) 200, 400, 800
1984 ….. Evelyn Ashford (USA) 100
1985 ….. Marita Koch (East Germany) 100, 200, 400
1986 ….. Jackie Joyner-Kersee (USA) LJ, heptathlon
1987 ….. Jackie Joyner-Kersee (USA) 100 Hurdles, LJ, heptathlon
1988 ….. Florence Griffith Joyner (USA) 100, 200
1989 ….. Ana Quirot (Cuba) 400, 800
1990 ….. Merlene Ottey (Jamaica) 100, 200
1991 ….. Heike Henkel (Germany) high jump
1992 ….. Heike Drechsler (Germany) long jump
1993 ….. Junxia Wang (China) 1500/Mile, 10,000, marathon
1994 ….. Jackie Joyner-Kersee (USA) 100H, long jump, hept
1995 ….. Sonia OÕSullivan (Ireland) 1500, 5000
1996 ….. Svetlana Masterkova (Russia) 800, 1500/Mile
1997 ….. Marion Jones (USA) 100, 200
1998 ….. Marion Jones (USA) 100, 200, long jump
1999 ….. Gabriela Szabo (Romania) 1500/Mile, 5000
2000 ….. Marion Jones (USA) 100, 200, long jump
2001 ….. Stacy Dragila (USA) pole vault
2002 ….. Paula Radcliffe (GB) 5000, 10,000, marathon
2003 ….. Maria Mutola (Mozambique) 800
2004 ….. Yelena Isinbayeva (Russia) pole vault
2005 ….. Yelena Isinbayeva (Russia) pole vault
2006 ….. Sanya Richards (USA) 200, 400