Almaz Ayana becomes the third Ethiopian woman to win the IAAF award, following Genzebe Dibaba in 2015 and Meseret Defar in 2007.
She produced a stunning run on the first day of athletics in Rio when she shattered the 10,000-metres world record that had stood for 23 years.
Her time of 29 minutes, 17.45 seconds smashed the mark of 29:31.78 that was set by Wang Junxia of China in 1993.
Ayana also took bronze in the Rio 5000m, her only loss of the year over the distance. She ended the year as the Diamond Race winner for that discipline.
No token or token has expired.