Ethiopian runner Kenenisa Bekele and Russia's Yelena Isinbayeva have been named the International Association of Athletics Federations' Athletes of the Year Saturday in Monte Carlo.

Bekele improved his own world record in the 10,000 meters race two weeks ago in Brussels, Belgium. He also won the men's 10,000 meters world championship in Helsinki, Finland, last month.

Isinbayeva improved her own world record in the women's pole vault nine times this year, four indoors and five outdoors. The Russian set her latest mark by clearing five meters, one centimeter in Helsinki where she also won the world championship.

Meanwhile, American sprinter Justin Gatlin won the award for best men's performance after he won the men's 100- and 200-meters races in Helsinki.

Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia won the best women's performance after capturing the 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters titles at the world championships.

Some information for this report provided by AP.