Thiam wins International Athlete of the Year award

Nafi Thiam has won the International Athlete of the Year award in Monte Carlo. After a vote of IAAF members and 250,000 online voters, the heptathlon star became the first Belgian to win the award. Almaz Ayana and Ekaterini Stefanidi were second and third respectively.

In 2017 Thiam did something few people thought possible. She did even better than in 2016, when she won Olympic gold. The 23-year-old started the year in style with a European indoor title in Belgrade, was the fourth athlete in history to break the 7,000 point barrier in Gotzis and became the world heptathlon champion in London.

Thiam is a crowd favourite at the AG Memorial Van Damme. This year she received a wildcard by the AG Memorial organisers to be able to compete in the high jump competition in front of her home fans. The reigning world and Olympic champion cleared 1m88 on her second attempt and then missed three attempts on 1m91.

“Do it your own way. Don’t listen too much to others and most importantly: have fun,” was Thiam’s advice to her fellow athletes on stage. 

Mutaz Barshim was the first high jumper to be elected International Athlete of the Year. He beat Mo Farah and Wayde van Niekerk. Barshim is also a familiar face in the King Baudouin Stadium. In Brussels he produced a stunning jump over 2m43 in 2014.

 IAAF Diamond League News - Brussels