Yulimar Rojas won the female World Athlete of the Year award to become the first Venezuelan winner of this award.

Rojas beat Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah, who was unbeaten in 2020, for the top award.

The other finalists were Sifan Hassan, Peres Jepchirchir and Letesenbet Gidey.

“I honestly didn’t expect this; I really cannot believe it. It is such a joy, and I’m filled with happiness. Just being one of the finalists felt like winning to me; being nominated among other exceptional athletes was already a wonderful achievement.

This victory means a lot to me and to all of those who work with me every day, everyone who gives me strength and motivation every day. And now, being the best athlete of the year is an additional inspiration for me for 2021. It is going to be a great year, and I have a lot of ambition.

“This gives me a lot of strength to keep on track with my career,” she said. Rojas is the second triple jumper with the award after Caterine Ibarguen in 2018.

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