Ethiopian distance runner Kenenisa Bekele and Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva were named on Sunday as the International Association of Athletics Federations' male and female athletes of the year.
Bekele, 22, won the world cross-country long and short course titles for the third consecutive time this year.
He set a world indoor 5,000 record and also broke his compatriot Haile Gebrselassie's world outdoor 5,000 and 10,000 marks before going on to win the Olympic 10,000 metres title in Athens followed by a silver medal behind Morocco's Hicham El Guerrouj in the 5,000.
Isinbayeva, also 22, won the Olympic title and set eight world records, three of them indoors.
El Guerrouj was given a special award for the male performance of the year with his Olympic 1,500 and 5,000 double.
Britain's Kelly Holmes, who won the 800-1,500 double in Athens, won the women's performance of the year award.