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Dibaba Wins Battle Of WR Setters

dibaba genzebe aoySometimes a World Record is a “guarantee” of an Athlete Of The Year honors; other times it is not. But it wasn’t just her 3:50.07 in the 1500 that earned Genzebe Dibaba T&FN’s women’s AOY title for 2015, in no small part because she was up against another WR setter.

The 24-year-old Ethiopian also dominated the metric mile all year and added a World Champs 5000 medal as she narrowly—make that very narrowly—edged hammer thrower Anita Włodarczyk for the magazine’s top honor, making her the latest in a long list of superstars dating back to 1977 to be so honored.

Defending No. 1 Włodarczyk actually got more No. 1 votes from our international panel than did Dibaba, 17-16, but the Ethiopian distance star edged the Pole in backup votes by just enough to eke out a 3-point win.

Nobody else earned a nod as No. 1, with Dutch sprinter Dafne Schippers ending up No. 3 overall, not remotely close to the top 2.

Overall, 16 women received votes in our international panel’s voting.

Here’s the Top 10 (with events in which they made the Top 10 in our World Rankings):

1. Genzebe Dibaba (Ethiopia—1500 & 5000) 312
2. Anita Włodarczyk (Poland—hammer) 309
3. Dafne Schippers (Holland—100 & 200) 222
4. Almaz Ayana (Ethiopia—5000) 197
5. Caterine Ibargüen (Colombia—triple jump) 187
6. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Jamaica—100) 151
7. Allyson Felix (US—200 & 400) 142
8. Hong Liu (China—20W) 86
9. Christina Schwanitz (Germany—shot) 84
10. Zuzana Hejnová (Czech Republic—400H) 36

Full details on the 2015 Athlete Of The Year choices can be found in the February edition of Track & Field News.

© Track & Field News 2014