EFEBogota

The triple-jump gold medalist at the Rio Games, Caterine Ibargüen, on Wednesday was named Colombia's athlete of the year for the fourth time by the daily El Espectador, which also recognized the accomplishments of two other Olympic champions: BMX cyclist Mariana Pajon and weightlifter Oscar Figueroa.

Ibargüen also was the triple-jump champion in the 2016 edition of the Diamond League, a 14-leg series of international track and field meetings.

This award "is a recognition for my work and this year's results ... in which I achieved my biggest objective: the Olympic gold medal," she said at the award ceremony in Bogota.

The Colombian track-and-field star acknowledged the difficulty of choosing this year's winner because of the performance of athletes like Pajon and road cyclist Nairo Quintana.

"This year it was tough to say who the athlete of the year was, so for them to say it was me makes me very happy about my results," said Ibargüen, who previously won the award in 2011, 2013 and 2015 (shared with Quintana).

Pajon, who won her second straight Olympic gold medal this summer, finished second in the voting; Figueroa, gold medalist in Rio in the 62-kilogram (136.5-pound) weight category, was third.

The lifetime achievement award went to weightlifter Maria Isabel Urrutia, who became Colombia's first-ever gold medalist at the Sydney Games in 2000 when she came out on top in the women's 75-kilogram weight class.

Atletico Nacional, a Medellin-based soccer team, was named the team of the year and also won the "fair-play" prize for its response to a Nov. 28 charter plane crash that killed 71 of the 77 people on board, many of them players and coaches for Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense.

In the wake of the tragedy, Atletico Nacional asked the South American soccer federation to award the title to the Chapeco, Brazil-based club, a request that was granted.