Duplantis, Lyles and Kipyegon among six named World Athlete of the Year

Swedish pole-vaulter Armand Duplantis and American sprint star Noah Lyles were among the six who have been announced as World Athletes of the Year for 2023. World Athletics, which annually choses the best male and female athlete of the year, announced three awards in either section to reflect great performances across track, field and out of stadia events.

Armand Duplantis won the men’s pole vault at the world athletics championships in August(Getty)

In men, Duplantis (field), Lyles (track) and Kenyan marathon sensation Kelvin Kiptum (out of stadia) were announced as winners by World Athletics on Monday night. The women winners were Kenya’s middle- and distance great Faith Kipyegon (track), Venezuelan triple jumper Yulimar Rojas (field) and Ethiopian marathon runner Tigist Assefa (out of stadia).

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India’s javelin world, Olympic and Asian Games champion, Neeraj Chopra, was in the five-man shortlist for the Male Athlete of the Year award. The accolade for Rising Stars went to world 3000m steeplechase bronze medallist Faith Cherotich and world 800m silver medallist Emmanuel Wanyonyi. A three-way voting process saw fans, the ‘world athletics family’ and the World Athletics council vote.

Duplantis and US hurdler Sydney McLaughlin were the men’s and women’s winner for 2022, but following feedback received during the voting process the world body expanded the list, in a year that saw 23 world records being set. “When it came to compiling the votes, athletes, fans and World Athletics Family members commented that it was incredibly hard to limit the vote to just one athlete, because of the various disciplines and the vast differences in skill sets required,” a World Athletics release said.

“The depth of talent and the outstanding performances in our sport this year more than justify the expansion of the World Athletics Awards to recognise the accomplishments by these six athletes across a range of disciplines,” WA president Sebastian Coe said.

Duplantis, Kiptum, Assefa and Kipyegon set world records in their respective events in 2023, while all six World Athletes of the Year won world titles or major marathons. Kenya’s Kipyegon. Kiptum, 24, achieved his world record in the Chicago Marathon in October, clocking 2:00:35 to take 34 seconds off compatriot Eliud Kipchoge’s previous mark. He also won the London Marathon in April (2:01:25).

Duplantis, 24, improved his world record both indoors and outdoors (6.22m and 6.23m respectively), retained the world title and achieved 20 clearances of 6.00m or higher. Lyles, 26, a vibrant personality seen as a contender to a true successor to Usain Bolt, won the 100m-200m double at Budapest and was part of USA’s victorious 4x100m relay team. His 9.83 seconds in the 100m and 19.47 in his pet 200m made him joint and clear leader for the year in the events.

Kipyegon, 29, set world records in 1,500m, 5,000m as well as the mile, and won a golden double in the first two events at the Budapest worlds. She clocked 3 minutes, 49.11 seconds in 1,500m, 14:05.20 in 5,000m and 4:07.64 in the mile for the world marks. Rojas, 28, the women’s triple jump world record holder, won her fourth world outdoor title in Budapest and her third consecutive Diamond League trophy. Assefa broke the women’s world record at the Berlin Marathon in September, clocking 2:11:53 to better the world mark by two minutes and 14 seconds.

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