Mo Farah

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Barshim, Thiam earn IAAF top honors; Bolt earn’s president’s award

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Neither Mo Farah nor Wayde van Niekerk was the IAAF’s world athlete of the year for 2017. Instead, that honor went to Mutaz Barshim of Qatar.

Bolt was honored instead with the President’s Award, which “recognizes and honors great service to athletics.”

Barshim, a high jumper, won the Diamond League title for the year and owns nine of the best 11 jumps in the world for 2017. He was the first high jumper to leap 2.40m or longer in five consecutive seasons. He was undefeated this season across 11 competitions, capped by the world championships. IAAF President Seb Coe presented Barshim’s trophy.

Belgium’s Nafissatou Thiam was the female winner, after winning last year’s Female Rising Star Award. She won gold at the Rio Olympics in the heptathlon, and followed it up this year with the world championship title. HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco presented Thiam with the award.

“We celebrate your amazing contributions to a phenomenal year of athletics,” Coe said in a speech, according to an IAAF press release. “I’m particularly excited by the young generation of talent which so dramatically came of age on the world stage in 2017. Athletics looks forward to a strong and exciting future safe in your hands.”

The other awards were presented to:

Karsten Warholm, Norway, 400m hurdles – Male Rising Star award

Yulimar Rojas, Venezuela, triple jump – Female Rising Star award

Anna Botha – Coaching Achievement award (she is best known for coaching van Niekerk)

Cherry Alexander, managing director for the IAAF World Championships London 2017 – Women in Athletics award

Paul Sanwell, photographer – Athletics Photograph of the Year award (for his photo of Sally Pearson in the 100m hurdles semifinal at the world championships)

More: Emma Coburn, Sam Kendricks win USATF Athlete of the Year awards

Mo Farah, Queen discuss his running career

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Upon receiving knighthood Tuesday, Sir Mo Farah was quizzed by Queen Elizabeth II about his changing distance running career.

Video of the ceremony is here.

“I walked in there, quite nervous, but she knew who I was,” Farah told Sky Sports afterward at Buckingham Palace. “She knows I’ve been going for far too long. She asked me if I was retired, and I said, no, I’m going to the roads [full-time marathons starting with the London Marathon on April 22]. She goes, that’s a long way. I was like, yeah. Then she asked me what I would like to do when I stop running. I said I’d like to be able to help the next generation, next kids, start at the grassroots, continue supporting younger generations. She said that’s amazing.”

Farah noted his incredible journey, from coming to Great Britain from Somalia at age 8 not knowing a word of English to becoming a national hero with four Olympic gold medals.

“[Knighthood is definitely way up there, close to my Olympics medals,” Farah told the BBC.

Farah also sounded much more optimistic about going for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in the marathon than he did last spring.

“If I’m capable of getting a medal or close to a medal [in Tokyo], you will see me,” Farah said, according to British media.

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MORE: Mo Farah splits with longtime coach

Mo Farah, Alberto Salazar split

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Brit Mo Farah, a four-time Olympic champion, and coach Alberto Salazar have ended a six-year partnership that saw Farah become one of the greatest distance runners of all time.

“I’ll no longer be coached by Alberto Salazar,” Farah said in a video, backdropped by framed singlets and medals honoring his incredible success with Salazar. “I want to thank each member of Oregon Project and Alberto for what he’s done over the years.”

Farah, a 34-year-old transitioning to full-time road racing and marathons next year, said he misses home and is moving back to London from Oregon to raise his kids.

He will be coached by Gary Lough, the husband and former coach of retired world-record holder Paula Radcliffe.

Salazar said the decision to part ways was mutual and has offered to continue as an advisor to Farah, according to the Oregonian.

Farah plans to race the London Marathon for the second time in April.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) is investigating Salazar, who has been accused of skirting anti-doping rules while training some of his athletes at the Nike Oregon Project.

Salazar, a three-time New York City Marathon champion in the early 1980s, has repeatedly denied breaking anti-doping rules.

Farah was not implicated in a 2015 report accusing Salazar of breaking anti-doping and medical rules. British Athletics investigated Farah’s medical data anyway and found no “evidence of impropriety.”

Farah said last year that he was put “through hell” by media regarding the allegations against Salazar.

“I’m not leaving the Nike Oregon Project and Alberto Salazar because of the doping allegations,” Farah said, according to the Sun. “This situation has been going on for over two years, if I was going to leave because of that I would have done.

“If Alberto had crossed the line I would be out the door, but USADA has not charged him with anything. If I had ever had any reason to doubt Alberto, I would not have stood by him all this time.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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