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Athletes of the Year for Track and Field

Athletes of the Year for 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 …..

Kelvin Farr
Last updated: Apr 01, 2021 | Mar 31, 2021

Table of Contents

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

Kelvin Farr | Crypto and Finance expert.

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