Reza Alipourzenashandifar is the second sports climber to win the IWGA Athlete of the Year Award ©IWGA

Sport climber Reza Alipourzenashandifar has been announced as the World Games Athlete of the Year following a public vote.

The 23-year-old claimed the award thanks to 90,790 votes, just a few hundred in front of Ukrainian powerlifter Larysa Soloviova who received 90,036.

Alipourzenashandifar became the first-ever Iranian to become a World Games champion after winning speed climbing gold in Polish city Wrocław last summer, completing the 15-metre ascent in 5.57 seconds.

Reza Alipourzenashandifar won gold at the World Games last year ©Wikimedia
Reza Alipourzenashandifar won gold at the World Games last year ©Wikimedia

President of the International Federation of Sport Climbing Marco Scolaris expressed his delight at Alipourzenashandifar's win.

Fellow climber Adam Ondra from the Czech Republic won the prize in 2015.

"Wow, already two Athlete of the Year awards for sport climbing," said Scolaris.

"No other sport has got that yet.

"Congratulations to Reza for this success as well as for his achievements in 2017.

"He is the fastest speed climber and the first Iranian athlete to win gold at The World Games."

Third place in the awards was taken by roller-sports athlete Fabriana Arias of Colombia, who received 48,014 votes.

Arias had been leading the race for the award but lost her place at the top in the final three days.

Overall, 260,266 votes were cast for the 2017 Athlete of the Year award.

The World Games feature sports which are not on the Olympic programme.