T&FN’s WORLD WOMEN’S
ATHLETES OF THE YEAR

(switch to Men’s AOYs)

Track & Field News has been formally choosing a Men’s Athlete Of The Year since 1959.

Our Men’s World Rankings began with the 1947 season, but for that year through the ’58 campaign, the concept of a formally chosen AOY didn’t exist in our pages.

The Women’s AOY was added to the mix in 1974. Here’s the all-time women’s No. 1s, with the event(s) in which they made the World Rankings that year (if the events are out of normal event order, that reflects the existence of a “primary” discipline):

1970s
1974 Irena Szewińska (Poland) 100, 200, 400
1975 Faina Melnik (Soviet Union) Shot, Discus
1976 Tatyana Kazankina (Soviet Union) 800, 1500/Mile
1977 Rosi Ackermann (East Germany) High Jump
1978 Marita Koch (East Germany) 100, 200, 400
1979 Marita Koch (East Germany) 100, 200, 400

 

1980s
1980 Ilona Briesenick (East Germany) Shot
1981 Evelyn Ashford (USA) 100, 200
1982 Marita Koch (East Germany) 100, 200, 400
1983 Jarmila Kratochvílová (Czechoslovakia) 200, 400, 800
1984 Evelyn Ashford (USA) 100
1985 Marita Koch (East Germany) 100, 200, 400
1986 Jackie Joyner-Kersee (USA) Heptathlon, Long Jump
1987 Jackie Joyner-Kersee (USA) Heptathlon, 100 Hurdles, LJ
1988 Florence Griffith Joyner (USA) 100, 200
1989 Ana Quirot (Cuba) 400, 800

 

1990s
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) Hept, 100H, Long Jump
1995 Sonia O’Sullivan (Ireland) 1500/Mile, 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

 

2000s
2000 *Stacy Dragila (USA) Pole Vault
  (*the original voting leader was U.S. sprinter/jumper Marion Jones, but her AOY status was revoked after her drug use testimony)
2001 Stacy Dragila (USA) Pole Vault
2002 Paula Radcliffe (Great Britain) Marathon, 5000, 10,000
2003 Maria Mutola (Mozambique) 800
2004 Yelena Isinbaeva (Russia) Pole Vault
2005 Yelena Isinbaeva (Russia) Pole Vault
2006 Sanya Richards-Ross (USA) 400, 200
2007 Meseret Defar (Ethiopia) 5000, 10,000
2008 Tirunesh Dibaba (Ethiopia) 5000, 10,000
2009 Sanya Richards-Ross (USA) 400, 200

 

2010s
2010 Blanka Vlašić (Croatia) High Jump
2011 Vivian Cheruiyot (Kenya) 5000, 10,000
2012 Valerie Adams (New Zealand) Shot
2013 Valerie Adams (New Zealand) Shot
2014 Anita Włodarczyk (Poland) Hammer
2015 Genzebe Dibaba (Ethiopia) 1500, 5000
2016 Anita Włodarczyk (Poland) Hammer