“Outstanding” year for track and field athletes celebrated at World Athletics Awards in Monaco

Six of the top international champions and record-breakers of 2023 were honoured as World Athletes of the Year in Monaco earlier this week at the annual World Athletics Awards. Here are the winners of this year’s prestigious prizes. 

There was not just one World Athlete of the Year this time round at the World Athletics Awards, but six. The reason for the change is that 2023 was simply an exceptional year for sport; in the last 12 months, at least 23 track, field and “out of stadium” records have been smashed by competitors from across the globe, and many of those titles belong to the winners of this year’s roll call.

Among the six incredible athletes to be awarded World Athlete of the Year status are: Tigist Assefa, the Ethiopian marathon runner; pole vaulter Mondo Duplantis of Sweden; Kenyan marathon runner Kelvin Kiptum; 1,500m, mile and 5,000m runner Faith Kipyegon, also from Kenya; 100m and 200m sprinter Noah Lyles of the USA; and Venezuelan triple jump star Yulimar Rojas.  

Faith Kipyegon of Kenya beamed with pride as she was given her award by Prince Albert II of Monaco. Photo credit: World Athletics Awards, Facebook

“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 Lord 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.” 

The six winners were personally handed their awards by Prince Albert II of Monaco at the Palais Princier on Monday 11th December.  

Rising stars 

It was an excellent showing for the African nation of Kenya, as two of its up-and-coming athletes were also honoured for their individual efforts in the Rising Stars of 2023 category. 

Both Faith Cherotich, a steeplechaser, and Emmanuel Wanyonyi, a 800m and relay runner, won gold medals, as well as a clutch of silvers and bronzes, this year in U20 events.  

Other sporting personalities and federations to pick up gongs this year included: Swiss Laurent Meuwly, who took home a Coaching Achievement Award; President of the Togolese Athletics Federation Falilatou Tchanile-Salifou, who won Woman of the Year; Mattia Ozbot for Photograph of the Year; Athletics Australia, which picked up the Member Federation Award; runner Letesenbet Gidey, who won acclaim with the International Fair Play Award; and the Abbott World Marathon Majors competition, which won the President’s Award.

The award for Photograph of the Year was won by Mattiz Ozbot with his image of Leo Neugebauer in the decathlon pole vault in Budapest. Photo credit: Mattia Ozbot / World Athletics Photography Workshop


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Left-right in main photo: Noah Lyles, Kelvin Kiptum and Mondo Duplantis. Photo sourc: World Athletics Awards, Facebook