T&FN’s World Women’s Athletes Of The Year

Track & Field News has  been  formally  choosing  an  Athlete  Of  The Year since ’59. Our Men’s World Rankings began with the ’47 season, but  for  that  year  through  the  ’58  campaign,  the  concept  of  an  AOY didn’t exist. The Women’s AOY was added to the mix in ’74.

—View Men’s AOYs—

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, it 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 Rosie 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
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
2017 Anita Włodarczyk (Poland) Hammer
2018 Caster Semenya (South Africa) 400, 800, 1500

* = Marion Jones also led the actual voting in ’00, but was retroatively stripped  of  the  AOY  honor  after  her  drug-use  testimony;  many  believe—even though there’s no hard evidence—that she was also using in her AOY seasons of ’97 & ’98, something to which she has not admitted.

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