Kipchoge, US hurdler Muhammad named world athletes of year

<p>
              FILE - In this Oct. 12, 2019, file photo, marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge, from Kenya, celebrates after crossing the finish line of the INEOS 1:59 Challenge after 1:59:40 in Vienna, Austria. Pioneering marathon runner Kipchoge and U.S. hurdler Dalilah Muhammad have been named the world athletes of the year in track and field. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak, File)
            </p>

MONACO (AP) — Pioneering marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge and U.S. hurdler Dalilah Muhammad were named the world athletes of the year in track and field on Saturday.

Kipchoge became the first man to run a sub-two-hour marathon, though the feat wasn’t officially recognized as a world record. That’s because he ran on his own, with a rotating group of pacemakers and in strictly controlled conditions. Kipchoge’s only competitive race this year came when he won the London Marathon in April.

“I am happy to be the first human being to run under two hours. I hope that I inspired a lot of generations,” Kipchoge told the awards ceremony via video link.

Muhammad won world championship 400-meter hurdles in world record time. She earlier broke the record in July at the U.S. championships.

“It’s been an amazing year. I’m so thankful to be here,” she said.

Muhammad beat fellow nominees Brigid Kosgei, who broke the women’s marathon world record, and Sifan Hassan, who won world gold in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters.

The world 5,000-meter silver medalist Selemon Barega of Ethiopia was named male rising star of the year, while Ukrainian high jump silver medalist Yaroslava Mahuchikh was the female rising star.