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Kenyan athletes Kelvin Kiptum and Faith Kipyegon are shortlisted and are likely to win the male and female Athletes of the Year.


World Athletics 2023 honourees also include Venezuela’s long-jumper Yulimar Rojas and Jamaican sprinter Shericka Jackson.

Reigning World 100 metre champion Sha’Carri Richardson is a notable missing finalist. Others missing include reigning World 3000m steeplechase champion Winfred Yavi from Bahrain and especially Sifan Hassan who won two marathons in very fast times clocking 2:13:44 in Chicago and 2:18:33 in London. In between, she earned silver and bronze medals at the Budapest World Athletics Championships in the 5000m and 1500m.

The finalists in alphabetical order

Tigist Assefa, ETH, marathon
· Berlin marathon winner
· World marathon record

Femke Bol, NED, 400m/400m hurdles
· World 400m hurdles champion
· World indoor 400m record

Shericka Jackson, JAM, 100m/200m
· World 200m champion and 100m silver medallist
· Diamond League 100m and 200m champion

Faith Kipyegon, KEN, 1500m/mile/5000m
· World 1500m and 5000m champion
· World records at 1500m, mile and 5000m

Yulimar Rojas, VEN, triple jump
· World champion
· Diamond League champion

Let’s face it, Kipyegon has a massive lead on the final straight

Faith Kipyegon is the 1500m and 5000m world record holder and she is the world champion in both events from the Budapest World Athletics Championships.

In June in Firenze, Italy, Kipyegon smashed the world 1500m record by clocking a 3:49.11 performance. One week later she clocked a 14:05.20 5000m in Paris, France. Six weeks later, she clocked a 4:07.64 mile (1609m) in Monaco both Diamond League meets.

In Budapest, the 29-year-old defended her Eugene World Athletics Championships in the 1500m and picked up a second gold in the 5000m.

A surprise name missing from the list is 200m world champion Sha’Carri Richardson from the US. However, while to be mentioned would have been an honour to be sure, no one is taking Kipyegon’s sure bet recognition as Athlete of the Year.

Tigist Assefa is the only athlete with any chance of taking the honour from Kipyegon based on her paradigm-shifting marathon performance of 2:11:53. While an approximate 2:12 was considered possible by Letesenebet Gidey of Ethiopia based on her half-marathon world record, no one expected Assefa’s performance. She once ran a marathon in approximately 2:34, then at Berlin 2022, the 26-year-old toyed with Paula Radcliffe’s former world record clocking 2:15:37. Assefa returned to defend her title and proceeded to look like she was still warming up as she crossed the finish line destroying the world record. She has literally come out of nowhere.


The five finalists for the Men’s World Athlete of the Year honour have been confirmed.

The five athletes, who represent four countries, have achieved world-class performances across a range of disciplines. Winning titles and breaking world records at the 2023 Budapest World Athletics Championships and other events around the world.

The finalists in alphabetical order

Neeraj Chopra, IND, javelin
· World champion
· Asian Games champion

Ryan Crouser, USA, shot put
· World champion
· World record

Mondo Duplantis, SWE, pole vault
· World champion
· Diamond League champion with world record

Kelvin Kiptum, KEN, marathon
· London and Chicago Marathon winner
· Marathon world record breaker

Noah Lyles, USA, 100m/200m
· World 100m and 200m champion
· World leader and undefeated in six finals at 200m

Frontrunner: Kelvin Kiptum

Kelvin Kiptum of Kenya is the frontrunner for the men’s honour. Like Kipyegon, he has a big lead and is about to unleash his final kick toward awards day.

Kiptum broke the marathon world record of 2:01:09 by Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge by running 2:00:35 during the Chicago Marathon in October.

Like Assefa, he just came out of nowhere. The now 23-year-old ran the Valencia Marathon in December 2022 clocking a course record 2:01:53 to smash the fastest in a debut effort. To this point, few had heard of Kiptum. Four months later he did it again in London, winning and improving his own time by clocking a London record 2:01:25. Six months hence Kiptum clocked the 2:00:35 — no problem.

He will now attempt to run under 2:00:00 in a legitimate marathon effort. There appears to be no reason at this time that he can not accomplish breaking the once-thought-impossible barrier. Kipchoge’s assertion that no human is limited created a monster — Kiptum must have been listening.

Voting procedure for 2023 World Athletes of the Year

A three-way voting process determined the finalists.

The World Athletics Council and the World Athletics Family cast their votes by email, while fans logged their decisions online via the World Athletics social media platforms where a record 2 million votes were registered.

Voting closed on 28 October.

The World Athletes of the Year will be announced on World Athletics’ platforms on 11 December, as part of the World Athletics Awards 2023.