T&FN Athlete Of The Year Top 10 Voting – Men

T&FN began formally selecting men’s AOYs in 1959. The voting process has evolved through multiple methodologies since then.

For ’59 through ’64 no specific point totals were printed in the magazine, nor was there any ranking beyond the announcement of the winner. Unfortunately, our archives contain no paper trail that allows any reconstruction of the details.

For ’66 through ’70, the international panel voted for 5 athletes, who were scored 5-4-3-2-1. The next year the system was 6-5-4-3-2-1, and in ’72 the current 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 system was introduced. So what follows is the top 10 for each of the years, where known.

Codes: * = athlete was also in the top 10 of the previous year’s voting; the number shown is % of a perfect score.

Trivia

The top scorers (scored 10-9-8….): 1. Carl Lewis 74; 2. Sergey Bubka 70; 3. Michael Johnson 68; 4. Hicham El Guerrouj 66; 5. Edwin Moses 63.

Most years in the Top 10: Bubka 10; Lewis, Moses & Johnson 9; El Guerrouj 8

There have been 5 perfect scores: Henry Rono ’78, Johnson ’96, Usain Bolt ’08 & ’09, David Rudisha ’10.

Lewis, El Guerrouj & Rudisha are the only 3-time winners, Lewis & Rudisha the only 3 in a rows.

The best U.S. years were ’66, ’67 , ’10 & ’19, with 6 of the top 10.

The worst U.S. year was ’86, the only shutout (there were single scorers in ’80, ’97 & ’04).

The year with the least turnover was ’07, when no fewer than 7 of the ’06 Top 10 returned. On 3 occasions there have been 6 repeaters: ’67 (including the top 6), ’85, ’12 & ’16 (including the top 5)… There has never been a year with no repeaters, but single-shots have come up 5 times: ’70, ’73, ’89, ’90 & ’11.

switch to women

1959
1. Martin Lauer West Germany
1960
1. Rafer Johnson USA
1961
1. Ralph Boston USA
1962
1. Peter Snell New Zealand
1963
1. C.K. Yang Taiwan
1964
1. Peter Snell New Zealand
1965
1. Ron Clarke Australia 87.7%
2. Randy Matson USA
3. Michel Jazy France
4. Kip Keino Kenya
5. Ludvík Danek Czechoslovakia
6. Ralph Boston USA
7. Gyula Zsivótzky Hungary
8. Gaston Roelants Belgium
9. Jürgen May East Germany
1966
1. Jim Ryun USA 95.6%
2. Tommie Smith USA
3. Randy Matson * USA
4. Kip Keino * Kenya
5. Ron Clarke * Australia
6. Janis Lusis Soviet Union
7. Romuald Klim Soviet Union
8. Ralph Boston * USA
9. Bill Toomey USA
10. Al Oerter USA
1967
1. Jim Ryun * USA 94.4%
2. Randy Matson * USA
3. Tommie Smith * USA
4. Janis Lusis * Soviet Union
5. Ron Clarke * Australia
6. Kip Keino * Kenya
7. Kurt Bendlin West Germany
8. Ron Whitney USA
9. Jim Hines USA
10. Bob Seagren USA
1968
1. Bob Beamon USA 89.6%
2. Janis Lusis * Soviet Union
3. Lee Evans USA
4. David Hemery Great Britain
5. Kip Keino * Kenya
6. Al Oerter USA
7. Tommie Smith * USA
8. Viktor Saneyev Soviet Union
=9. Ron Clarke * Australia
=9. Bob Seagren * USA
1969
1. Bill Toomey USA 84.0%
2. John Carlos USA
3. Anatoliy Bondarchuk Soviet Union
4. Viktor Saneyev * Soviet Union
5. Willie Davenport USA
6. Janis Lusis * Soviet Union
7. Lee Evans * USA
8. Jorma Kinnunen Finland
9. Marty Liquori USA
=10. Naftali Bon Kenya
=10. John Pennell USA
1970
1. Randy Matson USA 66.0%
2. Wolfgang Nordwig East Germany
3. Kerry O’Brien Australia
4. Chihchin Ni China
5. Jean-Claude Nallet France
6. Chris Papanicoláou Greece
7. Pauli Nevala Finland
8. Yevgeniy Arzhanov Soviet Union
9. Viktor Saneyev * Soviet Union
10. Ralph Mann USA
1971
1. Rod Milburn USA 82.8%
2. John Smith USA
3. Juha Väätäinen Finland
4. Valeriy Borzov Soviet Union
5. Don Quarrie Jamaica
6. Wolfgang Nordwig * East Germany
7. Pat Matzdorf USA
8. Jay Silvester USA
9. Yevgeniy Arzhanov * Soviet Union
10. Dave Bedford Great Britain
1972
1. Lasse Viren Finland 91.0%
2. John Akii-Bua Uganda
3. Nikolay Avilov Soviet Union
4. Valeriy Borzov * Soviet Union
5. Frank Shorter USA
6. Anatoliy Bondarchuk Soviet Union
7. Viktor Saneyev Soviet Union
8. Pekka Vasala Finland
9. Rod Milburn * USA
10. Bernd Kannenberg West Germany
1973
1. Ben Jipcho Kenya 89.3%
2. Al Feuerbach USA
3. Rod Milburn * USA
4. Dwight Stones USA
5. Emiel Puttemans Belgium
6. Filbert Bayi Tanzania
7. Ricky Bruch Sweden
8. Steve Williams USA
9. Rick Wohlhuter USA
10. Klaus Wolfermann West Germany
1974
1. Rick Wohlhuter * USA 95.5%
2. Jim Bolding USA
3. Brendan Foster Great Britain
4. Bruce Jenner USA
5. Ian Thompson Great Britain
6. Filbert Bayi * Tanzania
7. Ben Jipcho * Kenya
8. Viktor Saneyev Soviet Union
9. Silvio Leonard Cuba
10. Dwight Stones * USA
1975
1. John Walker New Zealand 84.3%
2. Brian Oldfield USA
3. Karl-Hans Riehm West Germany
4. Guy Drut France
5. Bruce Jenner * USA
6. Viktor Saneyev * Soviet Union
7. Anders Gärderud Sweden
8. João Oliveira Brazil
9. Mike Boit Kenya
10. Filbert Bayi * Tanzania
1976
1. Alberto Juantorena Cuba 95.0%
2. Bruce Jenner * USA
3. Mac Wilkins USA
4. Edwin Moses USA
5. Lasse Viren Finland
6. Viktor Saneyev * Soviet Union
7. Anders Gärderud * Sweden
8. John Walker * New Zealand
9. Don Quarrie Jamaica
10. Miklós Németh Hungary
1977
1. Alberto Juantorena * Cuba 95.0%
2. Edwin Moses * USA
3. Rolf Beilschmidt East Germany
4. Władysław Kozakiewicz Poland
5. Steve Ovett Great Britain
6. Miruts Yifter Ethiopia
7. Udo Beyer East Germany
8. Bill Rodgers USA
9. Samson Kimobwa Kenya
10. Daniel Bautista Mexico
1978
1. Henry Rono Kenya 100.0%
2. Volodimir Yashchenko Soviet Union
3. Udo Beyer * East Germany
4. Edwin Moses * USA
5. Steve Ovett * Great Britain
6. Wolfgang Schmidt East Germany
7. Renaldo Nehemiah USA
8. Raul Gonzales Mexico
9. Clancy Edwards USA
10. Michael Wessing West Germany
1979
1. Seb Coe Great Britain 95.8%
2. Renaldo Nehemiah * USA
3. Edwin Moses * USA
4. Larry Myricks USA
5. Udo Beyer * East Germany
6. Steve Ovett * Great Britain
7. Wolfgang Schmidt * East Germany
8. Harald Schmid West Germany
9. João Oliveira Brazil
10. Pietro Mennea Italy
1980
1. Edwin Moses * USA 99.2%
2. Pietro Mennea * Italy
3. Steve Ovett * Great Britain
4. Władysław Kozakiewicz Poland
5. Lutz Dombrowski East Germany
6. Miruts Yifter Ethiopia
7. Daley Thompson Great Britain
8. Gerd Wessig East Germany
9. Seb Coe * Great Britain
10. Karl-Hans Riehm West Germany
1981
1. Seb Coe * Great Britain 97.0%
2. Carl Lewis USA
3. Renaldo Nehemiah USA
4. Edwin Moses * USA
5. Steve Ovett * Great Britain
6. Ben Plucknett USA
7. Alberto Salazar USA
8. Konstantin Volkov Soviet Union
9. Yuriy Syedikh Soviet Union
10. Henry Rono Kenya
1982
1. Carl Lewis * USA 96.2%
2. Daley Thompson Great Britain
3. Bob Roggy USA
4. Keith Connor Great Britain
5. Alberto Salazar * USA
6. Yuriy Syedikh * Soviet Union
7. Dave Moorcroft Great Britain
8. Harald Schmid West Germany
9. Milt Ottey Canada
10. Luis Delís Cuba
1983
1. Carl Lewis * USA 98.8%
2. Edwin Moses USA
3. Sergey Litvinov Soviet Union
4. Calvin Smith USA
5. Steve Cram Great Britain
6. Rob de Castella Australia
7. Detlef Michel East Germany
8. Greg Foster USA
9. Jianhua Zhu China
10. Daley Thompson * Great Britain
1984
1. Carl Lewis * USA 99.6%
2. Uwe Hohn East Germany
3. Yuriy Syedikh Soviet Union
4. Saïd Aouita Morocco
5. Joaquim Cruz Brazil
6. Sergey Bubka Soviet Union
7. Edwin Moses * USA
8. Daley Thompson * Great Britain
9. Seb Coe Great Britain
10. Carlos Lopes Portugal
1985
1. Saïd Aouita * Morocco 93.8%
2. Steve Cram Great Britain
3. Sergey Bubka * Soviet Union
4. Willie Banks USA
5. Uwe Hohn * East Germany
6. Ulf Timmermann * East Germany
7. Carl Lewis * USA
8. Steve Jones Great Britain
9. Mike Conley USA
10. Joaquim Cruz * Brazil
1986
1. Yuriy Syedikh Soviet Union 88.4%
2. Saïd Aouita * Morocco
3. Ben Johnson Canada
4. Sergey Bubka * Soviet Union
5. Daley Thompson Great Britain
6. Gabriel Tiacoh Côte d’Ivoire
7. Steve Cram * Great Britain
8. Seb Coe Great Britain
9. Ulf Timmermann * East Germany
10. Igor Paklin Soviet Union
1987
1. Saïd Aouita * Morocco
2. Carl Lewis USA
3. Sergey Bubka * Soviet Union
4. Patrik Sjöberg Sweden
5. Francesco Panetta Italy
6. Werner Günthör Switzerland
7. Khristo Markov Bulgaria
8. Edwin Moses USA
9. Sergey Litvinov Soviet Union
10. Ulf Timmermann East Germany
¶Ben Johnson (Canada) voted No. 1 with 96.8% rating but retroactively banned for doping
1988
1. Sergey Bubka * Soviet Union 88.2%
2. Ulf Timmermann East Germany
3. Carl Lewis * USA
4. Roger Kingdom USA
5. Butch Reynolds USA
6. Andre Phillips USA
7. Julius Kariuki Kenya
8. Jürgen Schult East Germany
9. Joe DeLoach USA
10. Tapio Korjus Finland
1989
1. Roger Kingdom * USA 93.4%
2. Saïd Aouita Morocco
3. Javier Sotomayor Cuba
4. Arturo Barrios Mexico
5. Abdi Bile Somalia
6. Robson da Silva Brazil
7. Paul Ereng Kenya
8. Rodion Gataullin Soviet Union
9. Steve Backley Great Britain
10. Mike Conley USA
1990
1. Michael Johnson USA 92.2%
2. Steve Backley * Great Britain
3. Salvatore Antibo Italy
4. Kenny Harrison USA
5. Danny Harris USA
6. Leroy Burrell USA
7. Igor Astapkovich Soviet Union
8. Christian Plaziat France
9. Ulf Timmermann East Germany
10. Mike Powell USA
1991
1. Sergey Bubka Soviet Union 92.0%
2. Carl Lewis USA
3. Michael Johnson * USA
4. Mike Powell * USA
5. Dan O’Brien USA
6. Noureddine Morceli Algeria
7. Samuel Matete Zambia
8. Werner Günthör Switzerland
9. Leroy Burrell * USA
10. Moses Kiptanui Kenya
1992
1. Kevin Young USA 99.3%
2. Moses Kiptanui * Kenya
3. Quincy Watts USA
4. Sergey Bubka * Ukraine
5. Carl Lewis * USA
6. Jan Železný Czechoslovakia
7. Mike Marsh USA
8. Mike Conley USA
9. Dieter Baumann Germany
10. Linford Christie Great Britain
1993
1. Noureddine Morceli Algeria 94.9%
2. Colin Jackson Great Britain
3. Jan Železný * Czech Republic
4. Javier Sotomayor Cuba
5. Michael Johnson USA
6. Sergey Bubka * Ukraine
7. Linford Christie * Great Britain
8. Mike Powell USA
9. Mike Conley * USA
10. Yobes Ondieki Kenya
1994
1. Noureddine Morceli Algeria * 91.4%
2. Colin Jackson * Great Britain
3. Javier Sotomayor * Cuba
4. Sergey Bubka * Ukraine
5. Michael Johnson * USA
6. Dan O’Brien USA
7. William Sigei Kenya
8. Jan Železný * Czech Republic
9. Vénuste Niyongabo Burundi
10. Moses Kiptanui Kenya
1995
1. Haile Gebrselassie Ethiopia 94.3%
2. Jonathan Edwards Great Britain
3. Michael Johnson * USA
4. Noureddine Morceli * Algeria
5. Moses Kiptanui * Kenya
6. Iván Pedroso Cuba
7. Jan Železný * Czech Republic
8. Wilson Kipketer Denmark
9. Lars Riedel Germany
10. Dan O’Brien * USA
1996
1. Michael Johnson * USA 100.0%
2. Wilson Kipketer * Denmark
3. Jan Železný * Czech Republic
4. Daniel Komen Kenya
5. Allen Johnson USA
6. Frank Fredericks Namibia
7. Donovan Bailey Canada
8. Lars Riedel * Germany
9. Dan O’Brien * USA
10. Noureddine Morceli Algeria
1997
1. Wilson Kipketer * Denmark 98.6%
2. Haile Gebrselassie Ethiopia
3. Daniel Komen * Kenya
4. Hicham El Guerrouj Morocco
5. Iván Pedroso Cuba
6. Lars Riedel * Germany
7. Sergey Bubka Ukraine
8. Allen Johnson * USA
9. Frank Fredericks * Namibia
10. Moses Kiptanui Kenya
1998
1. Haile Gebrselassie * Ethiopia 95.8%
2. Hicham El Guerrouj * Morocco
3. John Godina USA
4. Jonathan Edwards Great Britain
5. Michael Johnson USA
6. Ato Boldon Trinidad
7. Iván Pedroso * Cuba
8. Maurice Greene USA
9. Tibor Gécsek Hungary
10. Steve Backley Great Britain
¶Bryan Bronson (US) voted No. 4 but retroactively banned for doping
1999
1. Hicham El Guerrouj * Morocco 91.2%
2. Maurice Greene * USA
3. Tomáš Dvořák Czech Republic
4. Michael Johnson * USA
5. Haile Gebrselassie * Ethiopia
6. Wilson Kipketer Denmark
7. Noah Ngeny Kenya
8. Maksim Tarasov Russia
9. Iván Pedroso * Cuba
10. Vyacheslav Voronin Russia
2000
1. Virgilijus Alekna Lithuania 88.1%
2. Michael Johnson * USA
3. Maurice Greene * USA
4. Robert Korzeniowski Poland
5. Jan Železný Czech Republic
6. Haile Gebrselassie * Ethiopia
7. Jonathan Edwards Great Britain
8. Iván Pedroso * Cuba
9. Hicham El Guerrouj * Morocco
10. Anier García Cuba
2001
1. Hicham El Guerrouj * Morocco 95.3%
2. Maurice Greene * USA
3. Jan Železný * Czech Republic
4. André Bucher Switzerland
5. Jonathan Edwards * Great Britain
6. John Godina USA
7. Tomáš Dvořák Czech Republic
8. Félix Sánchez Dominican Rep
9. Brahim Boulami Morocco
10. Koji Murofushi Japan
2002
1. Hicham El Guerrouj * Morocco 90.5%
2. Khalid Khannouchi USA
3. Félix Sánchez * Dominican Republic
4. Róbert Fazekas Hungary
5. Adam Nelson USA
6. Sergey Makarov Russia
7. Roman Šebrle Czech Republic
8. Wilson Kipketer Kenya
9. Francisco Fernández Spain
10. Anier García Cuba
¶Tim Montgomery (US) voted No. 6 but retroactively banned for doping
2003
1. Félix Sánchez * Dominican Republic 88.6%
2. Hicham El Guerrouj * Morocco
3. Saïd Shaheen Kenya
4. Christian Olsson Sweden
5. Allen Johnson USA
6. Kenenisa Bekele Ethiopia
7. Paul Tergat Kenya
8. Robert Korzeniowski Poland
9. Tom Pappas USA
10. Sergey Makarov Russia
2004
1. Kenenisa Bekele * Ethiopia 92.3%
2. Hicham El Guerrouj * Morocco
3. Stefan Holm Sweden
4. Christian Olsson * Sweden
5. Xiang Liu China
6. Saïf Shaheen * Qatar
7. Roman Šebrle Czech Republic
8. Félix Sánchez * Dominican Republic
9. Dwight Phillips USA
10. Virgilijus Alekna Lithuania

 

2005
1. Kenenisa Bekele * Ethiopia 96.1%
2. Saïf Shaheen * Qatar
3. Virgilijus Alekna * Lithuania
4. Justin Gatlin USA
5. Bershawn Jackson * USA
6. Dwight Phillips USA
7. Jeremy Wariner USA
8. Rashid Ramzi Bahrain
9. Ladji Doucouré France
10. Bryan Clay USA
¶Ivan Tikhon (Belarus) voted No. 3 but retroactively banned for doping
2006
1. Asafa Powell Jamaica 99.1%
2. Jeremy Wariner * USA
3. Virgilijus Alekna * Lithuania
4. Xiang Liu China
5. Kenenisa Bekele * Ethiopia
6. Irving Saladino Panama
7. Saïf Shaheen * Qatar
8. Tyson Gay USA
9. Andreas Thorkildsen Norway
10. Koji Murofushi Japan
2007
1. Tyson Gay * USA 96.5%
2. Jeremy Wariner * USA
3. Kenenisa Bekele * Ethiopia
4. Irving Saladino * Panama
5. Asafa Powell * Jamaica
6. Bernard Lagat USA
7. Xiang Liu * China
8. Reese Hoffa * USA
9. Tero Pitkämäki Finland
10. Haile Gebrselassie Ethiopia
2008
1. Usain Bolt Jamaica 100.0%
2. Kenenisa Bekele * Ethiopia
3. Dayron Robles Cuba
4. Bryan Clay USA
5. LaShawn Merritt USA
6. Haile Gebrselassie * Ethiopia
7. Gerd Kanter Estonia
8. Irving Saladino * Panama
9. Sammy Wanjiru Kenya
10. Andrey Silnov Russia
2009
1. Usain Bolt * Jamaica 100.0%
2. Kenenisa Bekele * Ethiopia
3. Tyson Gay * USA
4. LaShawn Merritt * USA
5. Steve Hooker Australia
6. Dwight Phillips * USA
7. Andreas Thorkildsen * Norway
8. Christian Cantwell USA
9. Sammy Wanjiru * Kenya
10. Trey Hardee USA
2010
1. David Rudisha Kenya 100.0%
2. David Oliver USA
3. Christian Cantwell * USA
4. Tyson Gay * USA
5. Andreas Thorkildsen Norway
6. Teddy Tamgho France
7. Bershawn Jackson USA
8. Jeremy Wariner USA
9. Dwight Phillips * USA
10. Patrick Makau Kenya
2011
1. David Rudisha * Kenya 82.4%
2. Usain Bolt Jamaica
3. Robert Harting Germany
4. Yohan Blake Jamaica
5. Geoffrey Mutai Kenya
6. Mo Farah Great Britain
7. Kirani James Grenada
8. Trey Hardee USA
9. Dayron Robles Cuba
10. Christian Taylor USA
2012
1. David Rudisha * Kenya 88.1%
2. Ashton Eaton USA
3. Usain Bolt * Jamaica
4. Aries Merritt USA
5. Mo Farah * Great Britain
6. Robert Harting * Germany
7. Yohan Blake * Jamaica
8. Krisztián Pars Hungary
9. Kirani James * Grenada
10. Renaud Lavillenie France
2013
1. Bogdan Bondarenko Ukraine 91.2%
2. Usain Bolt * Jamaica
3. Mo Farah * Great Britain
4. Mohamed Aman Ethiopia
5. LaShawn Merritt USA
6. Robert Harting * Germany
7. Ashton Eaton USA
8. Renaud Lavillenie * France
9. Aleksandr Menkov Russia
10. Teddy Tamgho France
2014
1. Renaud Lavillenie * France 99.4%
2. Bogdan Bondarenko * Ukraine
3. Justin Gatlin USA
4. Mutaz Barshim Qatar
5. Robert Harting * Germany
6. Jairus Birech Kenya
7. LaShawn Merritt * USA
8. Nijel Amos Botswana
9. Eliud Kipchoge Kenya
10. Krisztián Pars Hungary
2015
1. Ashton Eaton USA 89.2%
2. Christian Taylor USA
3. Usain Bolt Jamaica
4. Mo Farah Great Britain
5. Paweł Fajdek Poland
6. Asbel Kiprop Kenya
7. Wayde van Niekerk South Africa
8. Justin Gatlin * USA
9. Eliud Kipchoge * Kenya
10. Joe Kovacs USA
2016
1 Wayde van Niekerk * South Africa 97.8%
2 Mo Farah * Great Britain
3 Usain Bolt * Jamaica
4 Eliud Kipchoge * Kenya
5 Ashton Eaton * USA
6 Conseslus Kipruto Kenya
7 Christian Taylor * USA
8 Ryan Crouser USA
9 Omar McLeod Jamaica
10 David Rudisha Kenya
2017
1 Mutaz Barshim Qatar 89.2%
2 Sam Kendricks USA
3 Luvo Manyonga South Africa
4 Wayde van Niekerk* South Africa
5 Christian Taylor* USA
6 Paweł Fajdek Poland
7 Mo Farah* Great Britain
8 Eliud Kipchoge* Kenya
9 Omar McLeod* Jamaica
10 Johannes Vetter Germany
2018
1 Eliud Kipchoge Kenya 299 96.5%
2 Abderrahmane Samba Qatar 278 89.7%
3 Kevin Mayer France 215 69.4%
4 Noah Lyles USA 195 62.9%
5 Tom Walsh New Zealand 152 49.0%
6 Emmanuel Korir Kenya 103 33.2%
7 Sergey Shubenkov Russia 96 31.0%
8 Juan Miguel Echevarría Cuba 94 30.3%
9 Timothy Cheruiyot Kenya 90 29.0%
10 Mutaz Barshim Qatar 68 21.9%
2019
1 Karsten Warholm Norway 357 99.2%
2 Noah Lyles* USA 281 78.1%
3 Daniel Ståhl Sweden 202 56.1%
4 Steven Gardiner Bahamas 199 55.3%
5 Timothy Cheruiyot* Kenya 183 50.8%
6 Sam Kendricks USA 166 46.1%
7 Donavan Brazier USA 155 43.1%
8 Christian Coleman USA 149 41.4%
9 Rai Benjamin USA 73 20.3%
10 Christian Taylor USA 64 17.8%