Cuban Juan Miguel Echevarría, Colombian Caterine Ibargüen, and boxing team Domadores de Cuba rose today as the winners of the 55th edition of the Prensa Latina Sports Survey.
In a bitter sting for the award, Echevarría reached 36 votes and exceeded by seven the great star of world soccer, Argentine Lionel Messi. The 20-year-old jumper conquered this season the title of the world indoor championships in Birmingham, England; the Ostrava World Challenge; and the International Meetings of Bad Langensalza and Guadalajara. Also, the leader of the ranking of the world dominated the match of the Diamond League of Stockholm and reached silver in the one of Rome, in addition to winning the Karlsruhe meet and taking the silver medal at the International Meeting of Metz, France. Among the achievements of the season stands out the impressive record of 8.83 meters which, despite having been in favor of wind (+2.1 - legal up to + 2.0-), showed the world the real possibilities of breaking the world record of the specialty of 8.95, held by the American Mike Powell since 1991. Olympic champion in Rio de Janeiro-2016, Ibargüen dominated the survey this year with 59 votes and reached five laureates, after those obtained in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016. Thus, the South American athlete surpassed in the historical ranking the legendary Cuban runner Ana Fidelia Quirot (1989, 1991, 1995, 1997) and won the eleventh prize for her country in the category of Best athlete if we count both sexes, and the seventh among females. This season, the representative of the coffee nation won triple and long jump titles in the Continental Cup, the Diamond League and the Central American and Caribbean Games of Barranquilla-2018. Catherine left for the books the most outstanding mark of the year, 14.96 meters that equaled the best sixth jump of her career and was the longest since that allowed her to savor the Olympic glory in Rio de Janeiro-2016. But his merit lies not only in having destroyed his favorite triple specialty, but also in extending hegemony to length, a modality in which he had already ventured into the past without great results. In that test he faced the cream of the planet, including Olympic and world champions, and in addition to raising his personal level to 6.93, he dominated most of the jousts where he competed. Due to the excellent performance obtained this season, Ibargüen was exalted with the condition of Athlete of the Year of the International Association of Athletics Federations, for the first time in his career. The traditional survey began in 1964 with the election of the best athlete in Latin America and the Caribbean, and from 1980 it was decided to include the Best Team of the Year. In 1988, the men's and women's awards began separately. A total of 116 media outlets from 25 countries in the Americas, Europe and Asia issued their criteria in the Prensa Latina Sports Survey, which closed its 55th edition today.