Renaud Lavillenie and Valerie Adams named top athletes of 2014

By Aimee LewisBBC Sport
Pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie and shot putter Valerie Adams
Lavillenie (left) and Adams (right): 2014 World Athletes of the Year

Pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie and shot putter Valerie Adams have been named male and female World Athletes of the Year for 2014.

World and Olympic champion Adams, unbeaten since August 2010, becomes the first female thrower and first New Zealander to win the award.

In February, Frenchman Lavillenie broke Sergey Bubka's 21-year-old pole vault world record with a 6.16m leap.

British heptathlete Morgan Lake was joint winner of the Rising Star award.

She shared the accolade with 19-year-old French hurdler Wilhem Belocian, who won gold in the 110m hurdles at the IAAF World Junior Championships this summer in a world junior record time of 12.99 seconds.

The 17-year-old won two gold medals at the World Junior Championships, winning heptathlon and high jump gold in Oregon in July.

BBC Sport athletics pundit Colin Jackson on Morgan Lake:
"The talent Morgan has is breathtaking. She's calm and cool. For an athlete, a World Junior Championships is like a World Senior Championships. If you deliver as a junior you can do it as a senior, the pressure is the same. The only difference is how the world perceives it."

Lavillenie, 28, broke Bubka's record en route to winning his third European title in Zurich in August.

"For me, this is my dream season," said Lavillenie, who eclipsed Bubka's record as the Ukrainian - the first man to vault 6.00m - watched on in his home city. "It's extraordinary what's happening to me."

Two-time Olympic champion Adams, who this season enjoyed a record 56th consecutive victory, secured her third successive Commonwealth title in Glasgow this summer.

"It's the icing on the cake," said the 30-year-old of the award. "It's awesome to be here to represent throwers in general and also women in sport.

"It's always difficult to compete against the glamour events on the track but, nevertheless, we still compete and train just as hard as everybody else and we want to make sure we showcase our sport in all areas because it's not just the track event, it's the track and field event."