Duplantis, Rojas named World Athletes of the Year

·1-min read

World record-breakers Mondo Duplantis of Sweden and Venezuela's Yulimar Rojas were on Saturday named the male and female World Athletes of the Year.

In a season to remember, not least for the coronavirus-hit scheduling, Duplantis broke the world record in the men's pole vault twice.

The 21-year-old cleared 6.17m and 6.18m on back-to-back weekends in February, just weeks before the Covid-19 pandemic brought track and field to a grounding halt.

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

"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.

"When everything got shut down and things were pushed back to the end of the season, I was able to find some good form there as well which, for me, was more impressive than my indoor season because I'd had two months off."

Rojas also hit form in the shortened season, breaking the South American indoor triple jump record in her first competition of the year, reaching 15.03m in Metz, France.

She then went on to leap 15.43m at the World Athletics Indoor Tour meeting in Madrid to break the world indoor record by seven centimetres.

"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," said Rojas.