American Eaton takes top male award for 2015

Thu Nov 26, 2015 2:31pm EST
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MONACO (Reuters) - American decathlete Ashton Eaton was named the IAAF's male athlete of the year for 2015 on Thursday after breaking the world record to win the world title.

Eaton, 27, scored 9,045 points in Shanghai in his first decathlon for two years to beat his own world best mark.

"Athletes spend the most vigorous years of human life, arguably called the ‘best years’, working to hone their abilities," he said in a statement.

"I’m grateful and thankful to the IAAF (governing body) for excellent competitions, the canvases that allow us to display our work."

Eaton won the award ahead of Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, who landed his 11th world championship gold medal this year, and American triple jumper Christian Taylor.

"I did not beat Usain and Christian, my work simply differed in design. They are some of the most talented and beautiful performers of all time. I'm flattered to be among them," Eaton said.

"I accept this award on behalf of all of us athletes who love what we do."

FEMALE WINNER   Continued...

Ashton Eaton from the U.S. reacts after setting a new world record of 9045 points in the men's decathlon during the 15th IAAF World Championships at the National Stadium in Beijing, China August 29, 2015.   REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson