Mondo Duplantis of Sweden has been named as the male World Athlete. Whereas Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela have been named as the female World Athletes of the Year at the World Athletics Awards 2020. A ceremony was held virtually to felicitate and announce their names on Saturday, 5th December.
Mondo Duplantis broke the world record in the pole vault not only once but twice, topping 6.17m and 6.18m on back-to-back weekends in the month of February. And that was just a few weeks before the global coronavirus pandemic had started to halt the sports ground. When the competition was finally brought back to a resume, Duplantis capped his season and produced the highest outdoor vault. He topped 6.15m and that was highest of all and finished the year being undefeated in the16 competitions.
Duplantis celebrated his 21st birthday last month. He is named as the youngest athlete ever to have a name for the title of World Athlete of the Year.
Duplantis said that It was a really strange season, for him as well as for everybody, but he was able to put it all together and finally was able get some pretty good results. He also got his name for the Rising Star Award in 2018.
He said that he just wanted to go out there and wanted show the world what potential he ahd and how he was capable of to put his name out there with his big performances. He was able to do that and had some good heights, especially when the indoor season was going on. When everything got shut down due to the pandemic and things were pushed back to the end of the season, he was then able to find some good form therefor him. He was more impressive than his indoor season because he had two months off.
He think it’s cool when people describe his and considers him as the face of the sport, but it’s not something that he need to be or that he must have. He said that he just tries to go out there, then tries to jump high, and gradually try to break world records, He tries to just keep improving, he added.
Like many other athletes around the globe, Rojas competed sparingly in 2020, but she made each of her appearances count for her. Rojas broke the South American indoor triple jump record in the first competition she took for that year, reaching 15.03m in Metz, France. In her next competition, at the World Athletics Indoor Tour meeting in Madrid, she leaped around 15.43m in the final round of the competition to break the world indoor record by seven centimetres.
She competed twice outdoors. She also got the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Monaco and again in Castellon, Spain, where she sailed 14.71m, the farthest leap to happen in the world outdoors this year.
She says that she honestly didn’t expect this, she really cannot believe it. It was such a joy and she says that she’s filled with happiness. Just being one of the finalists for her felt like winning; being nominated among other exceptional athletes was already a wonderful achievement in itself, said Rojas. She also received the Rising Star Award in 2017.
She says that this victory means a lot to her and to all of those who work with her every day, everyone who gives her the strength and motivation every day. And now, being the best athlete of the year is an additional inspiration for her for 2021. She says that It is going to be a great year and she have a lot of ambition. This gives her a lot of strength to keep her track with her career, she added.