The finalists for the male category were Mondo Duplantis (pole vault), Neeraj Chopra (javelin throw), Noah Lyles (100 and 200 m specialist), Kelvin Kiptum (long-distance runner), and Ryan Crouser (shot put).
In the World Athletics’ decades-long tradition, only one ‘Athlete of the Year’ for each gender was ever named. However, in an unexpected move, the organization derailed from this path and expanded into three categories this year: “track,” “field,” and “out of stadia.”
In their announcement, the organization said that after tallying the votes, the athletes, fans, and World Athletics family members realized that it was extremely difficult to select just one finalist because each athlete’s discipline and set of skills were unique. As a result, they decided to expand and name one awardee for each category.
Sebastian Coe, World Athletics President, also said that the ‘depth of talent and outstanding performances in the sport this year’ justified the expansion of the awards. He also stated that it was only reasonable to honor them as athletes of the year in their respective fields, given that they had broken world records, won several titles, and won victories this year alone.
Who are the three awardees?
Mondo Duplantis was awarded the ‘Athlete of the Year’ in the ‘field’ category, while Noah Lyles and Kelvin Kiptum were likewise named as the awardees in the ‘track’ and ‘out of stadia’ categories, respectively.
Armand ‘Mondo’ Duplantis
This year, the Swedish-American pole vault sensation successfully defended his World Championship title and set a new world record (6.23-meters) at the Diamond League final, the Prefontaine Classic. He also set records of over 6 meters twenty-times this year.
Lyles gained international prominence this year when he replicated Usain Bolt’s feat at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, claiming three gold medals in 100-meter, 200-meter, and 4×100-meter relay.
Kelvin Kiptum made history in the Chicago Marathon this year as he smashed the previous world record and clocked an astonishing time of 2:00:35.
Cover Photo: IG