BEIJING, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) -- Following are the top 10 world athletes in 2018 as selected by Xinhua News Agency:
1. Luka Modric (Croatia)
Modric, 33, won the FIFA Best Player of the Year on September 24 and the Ballon d'Or award on December 3, marking the first time in a decade that the two awards were not shared by Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. He helped Real Madrid win an unprecedented third straight UEFA Champions Leauge and spearheaded Croatia to its first World Cup final as team captain. He was named Golden Ball at the Russia World Cup.
2. Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
After returning from injuries, the 31-year-old Djokovic won two Grand Slams at the Australia Open and the US Open and his first Cincinnati Masters championship, completing a career golden masters by bagging all nine ATP 1000s Masters trophies. He finished the season as ATP world No. 1, becoming the first player to return to glory after finishing out of the top 10 in previous year.
3. Simone Biles (United States)
At the 2018 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Doha, the 21-year-old Biles bagged four gold medals at the team event, all-round, pommel horse and floor exercise, becoming the gymnast with the most world gold medals of any gender with 14. She also won a silver in uneven bars and a bronze in balance beam to become the first gymnast since 1987 to win a world medal in every event.
4. Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya)
The 34-year-old Kipchoge clocked two hours one minute 39 seconds to defend his title at the Berlin Marathon and broke the previous world record by one minute, 18 seconds, the greatest improvement since 1967. It is also the first time that a human was able to finish the race in two hours and two minutes. The Kenyan was named IAAF Male World Athlete of the Year.
5. Marit Bjorgen (Norway)
Bjorgen, 37, triumphed in the women's 30km cross-country and 4x5km cross-country relay ski at the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games. With two golds, one silver and two bronzes in PyoengChang, the Norweigian skiing idol became the third athlete to bag eight golds in the Winter Games and the most decorated winter Olympian of all time with 15 medals to her name. She announced her retirement on April 6.
6. Zhu Ting (China)
The 24-year-old team captain of China's volleyball squad, Zhu helped China win the Asian Games championship and finish with a bronze medal at the World Championship, where she was awarded Best Outside Spiker. She won the Turkish Women's Volleyball League champion with Vakifbank Istanbul. She also helped the Turkish club to defend the CEV Champions League title and was awarded Best Player and Best Outside Spiker of the tournament.
7. Yuzuru Hanyu (Japan)
The 24-year-old Hanyu won gold in the men's figure skating at the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games despite an ankle injury, becoming the first man to win two consecutive Olympic gold medals since 1952. He was crowned at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating in Moscow while breaking his own world record with 110.53 points.
8. Lewis Hamilton (Britain)
The 33-year-old Hamilton won 11 Grand Prix titles and claimed his fifth Formula One world championship, joining Juan Manuel Fangio (5) and Michael Schumacher (7) as drivers with five or more world championship titles.
9. Wu Dajing (China)
Wu, 24, broke the world record twice to win China's only gold medal in men's 500m short track speed skating at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. It was China's first gold in a men's individual ice sport. At the ISU Word Cup Short Track in Salt Lake City, he finished first in 39.505 seconds and refreshed his own world recond.
10. Katinka Hosszu (Hungary)
Hosszu, 29, collected four gold medals in 200m butterfly, 100m, 200m and 400m medleys from The FINA short-course Hangzhou world championships in December. She was named FINA Female Swimmer of the Year for the fourth consecutive time.