Eliud Kipchoge and Dalilah Muhammad named athletes of the year

Kipchoge, the first man to run a marathon in less than two hours, and 400 metres hurdles world champion Dalilah Muhammad won the World Athlete of the Year awards.

Kenyan world record holder Eliud Kipchoge recently became the first person to run the distance of 42.4km in under two hours (though it wasn’t ratified by the International Association of Athletics Federations).   -  AP

Eliud Kipchoge, the first man to run a marathon in less than two hours, and 400 metres hurdles world champion Dalilah Muhammad won the World Athlete of the Year awards on Saturday.

AS IT HAPPENED | Kipchoge's sub two-hour marathon

Kipchoge, 35, claimed governing body World Athletics' year-ending prize in Monaco after making history last month when he ran the marathon distance of 42.195 kilometres (26.219 miles) in 1hr 59min 40.2sec.

The Olympic champion, who also holds the official world record of 2h01m39sec, won this year's London marathon in April before his incredible feat in an unofficial event in Vienna.

“I am very happy to be the first human being to run under two hours," said an elated Kipchoge on Saturday.

“I hope I inspire the human race. I’m just really happy to make history. I hope it was a big inspiration to the next generation.”

American Muhammad won her award after a magnificent year that saw her set a world record of 52.20 seconds at the US Trials in Iowa in July -- breaking a record that had stood since 2003 -- before winning gold at the World Championships in Doha with a new world best time of 52.16sec.

“It’s been an amazing year. A tough one", she said after receiving the award in Monaco.

WATCH | IAAF World Athletics C'ships: Muhammad breaks 400m hurdles world record in Doha

"I never imagined ending the year like this. I’m so thankful to be here.”

The winners were chosen following a vote shared 50 per cent by World Athletics, 25 per cent by athletes, coaches and journalists and 25 per cent by the general public.