This is the release of the World Athletics release on the AOY for 2023. The problem is all of the athletes and fans thought that there was one award for Males and one for Females, and then, there were three awards….
Six athletes – Tigist Assefa, Mondo Duplantis, Kelvin Kiptum, Faith Kipyegon, Noah Lyles and Yulimar Rojas – have been announced as World Athletes of the Year for 2023.
The world champions and world record-breakers were the final winners to be revealed as part of the World Athletics Awards 2023 on Monday (11), following confirmation of this year’s Rising Stars: world 3000m steeplechase bronze medallist Faith Cherotich and world 800m silver medallist Emmanuel Wanyonyi.
The adaptation of the World Athlete of the Year honours awarded this year follows feedback received during the voting process. Many sensational performances – including an extraordinary 23 world records* – were achieved in 2023. 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. As a result, for 2023 the World Athlete of the Year awards have been divided into three event categories: track, field and out of stadia.
“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,” said World Athletics President Sebastian Coe. “Our World Athletes of the Year alone have achieved seven world records between them in 2023, as well as a host of world titles and major wins, so it is only fitting that they be recognised as the athletes of the year in their respective fields.
“I congratulate our award winners and all of the athletes nominated for these honours.”
World Athletes of the Year for 2023
Women’s track: Faith Kipyegon, KEN, 1500m/mile/5000m
Women’s field: Yulimar Rojas, VEN, triple jump
Women’s out of stadia: Tigist Assefa, ETH, marathon
Men’s track: Noah Lyles, USA, 100m/200m
Men’s field: Mondo Duplantis, SWE, pole vault
Men’s out of stadia: Kelvin Kiptum, KEN, marathon
Assefa, Duplantis, Kiptum and Kipyegon set world records in their respective events in 2023, while all six World Athletes of the Year secured world titles or major marathon wins.
The moment of the year for Assefa came at the BMW Berlin Marathon in September, when the Ethiopian 27-year-old ran 2:11:53, smashing the world record by two minutes and 14 seconds and achieving the biggest single improvement on the mark for 40 years.
She finished almost six minutes ahead of her nearest rival after clocking 1:06:20 for the first half and an even faster 1:05:33 for the second half – a time that just seven women have beaten this year in a standalone half marathon.
Kiptum also achieved his world record in a World Athletics Platinum Label road race, running 2:00:35 at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in October. Becoming the first athlete to break 2:01 in a record-eligible marathon, the 24-year-old Kenyan won the race by almost three and a half minutes and took 34 seconds off Eliud Kipchoge’s previous world record.
Just one year on from his marathon debut, Kiptum now has three of the seven fastest times in history to his name having also won the TCS London Marathon in April in 2:01:25.
Duplantis improved his world pole vault record both indoors and outdoors in 2023, while he also retained the world title and achieved 20 clearances of 6.00m or higher.
Indoors, the Swedish 24-year-old added a centimetre to his previous outright best, clearing 6.22m in Clermont-Ferrand. During the outdoor season, he secured his second consecutive world title in Budapest and then won his third Wanda Diamond League trophy with a clearance of 6.23m on his first attempt to better his world record by another centimetre.
Kipyegon set world records at an incredible three distances during a season in which she also achieved a golden double at the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23.
First, the 29-year-old Kenyan improved the world 1500m record to 3:49.11 in Florence, taking almost a full second off the previous mark. Just one week later, and despite having raced the 5000m just twice before, she improved the world record for that event, too, clocking 14:05.20 in Paris to shave 1.42 seconds from the old record. Her third world record came in Monaco, where she smashed the previous mile mark by five seconds, clocking 4:07.64. Then, in Budapest, she won her third senior world 1500m title and her first world 5000m crown.
Lyles also achieved an individual title double at the World Championships in Budapest, winning 100m gold and retaining his 200m title before forming part of USA’s victorious 4x100m team.
The 26-year-old won the 100m in 9.83 – which saw him end the season as joint world leader – and the 200m in 19.52. He went even faster at the Diamond League meeting in London, clocking 19.47 to maintain his position as world 200m leader for the sixth consecutive year, during a season in which he was undefeated in six 200m finals.
Rojas won her fourth world outdoor title in Budapest and the Venezuelan 28-year-old also claimed her third consecutive Diamond League trophy.
Despite being in eighth place going into the final round at the World Championships, the world record-holder kept her cool and managed to soar 15.08m with her final attempt, moving her into the lead by eight centimetres. That secured her an eighth global gold medal. Then, at the Diamond League Final in Eugene, she improved her world lead to 15.35m for a mark just 39cm off her own world record.
Cherotich and Wanyonyi named Rising Stars of 2023
World U20 gold medallists Faith Cherotich and Emmanuel Wanyonyi made their mark on the senior stage in 2023.
The Kenyan teenagers both won medals at the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23, Cherotich claiming bronze in the 3000m steeplechase and Wanyonyi securing silver in the 800m.
Cherotich, who won world U20 bronze in 2021 and gold in 2022, also moved to second on the world U20 all-time list with 8:59.65 to finish third in the Diamond League Final in Eugene, while she finished fourth in the U20 race at the World Cross Country Championships.
As well as his world medal win, 2021 world U20 gold medallist Wanyonyi became Diamond League champion in 2023, claiming the trophy in a PB of 1:42.80. He also won Diamond League races in Rabat, Paris and Xiamen and formed part of Kenya’s victorious world cross country mixed relay team.
Other award winners
Coaching Achievement Award
Woman of the Year
Photograph of the Year
Member Federation Award
Abbott World Marathon Majors
International Fair Play Award
*23 world records and nine world U20 records (two equalled), which includes five senior and three U20 world records that are pending ratification
Images from the World Athletics Awards 2023 can be found here. Any relevant credit information will be stated in each folder. Winner reaction will be available on World Athletics’ social media platforms.