(Venezuelanalysis) – Venezuelan track and field champion Yulimar Rojas has been recognized as 2017’s best female athlete of the Americas.
Rojas received the award from the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) during a ceremony in Prague on Thursday.
The 21-year-old athlete shocked the world in August when she won the women’s triple jump at the International Association of Athletics Federations World Championships in London, defeating rival Caterine Ibarguen by two centimeters.
Colombia’s Ibarguen, who has dominated the event in recent years, was leading with 14.89 meters until the fifth round when Rojas scored a leap of 14.91.
The victory marked the first-ever World Athletics Championships title won by Venezuela.
Rojas dedicated the award to her family and her country.
“This is for my family, for Venezuela. This is the beginning of good things for my country Venezuela and for the Olympic sport,” she said during the award ceremony.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro took to Twitter Thursday to congratulate Rojas on the award.
“I congratulate our Yulimar Rojas for her well deserved recognition as Best Female Athlete of America 2017. Long live the golden generation,” he said, referring to the generation of successful athletes brought up under the Bolivarian Revolution.