As the track and field season draws to a triumphant close, the excitement continues to escalate with the commencement of preparations for the World Athletics Awards 2023 by World Athletics. The event's highlight will be the presentation of the coveted 2023 World Athletes of the Year Awards, offering a moment of reflection on the astounding performances witnessed this season.
Let’s delve deeper into the profiles of the distinguished nominees for this prestigious accolade.
Introducing the 2023 World Athletes of the Year Nominees
World Athletics has officially unveiled a list of 11 extraordinary athletes nominated for the esteemed title of World Athlete of the Year, encompassing:
Commencing the season with an impressive performance at the Asian Games, India’s javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra proceeded to dominate the Diamond Leagues in Doha and Lausanne, culminating in his historic win at the World Athletics Championships, becoming the first from the subcontinent to achieve such a feat.
American shot put sensation Ryan Crouser joins the esteemed list alongside Noah Lyles. Despite initial setbacks at the start of the indoor season, Crouser made a stunning comeback at the USATF Los Angeles Grand Prix, setting a new global record.
His resilience shone through at the World Athletics Championships, overcoming severe blood clots in his legs to clinch the gold medal, dominating the season with 11 of the top 12 throws.
Swedish pole vaulting prodigy, Mondo Duplantis, looks set to possibly repeat his success as last year’s Men’s World Athlete of the Year.
This season saw him break his record for the seventh time, soaring to an impressive 6.23 meters at the Diamond League finals, solidifying his status as the world champion in pole vaulting.
Soufiane El Bakkali
Moroccan steeplechase virtuoso Soufiane El Bakkali dominated the tracks this season, remaining unbeaten and setting a new personal best of 7:56.68.
His victory at the Diamond League in Doha, before a delighted home crowd, was a highlight, showcasing his resilience even as Ethiopian rival Lamecha Girma surpassed his world record.
At just 23 years of age, Norwegian middle-distance runner Jakob Ingebrigtsen has proven himself as a formidable force on the track.
Securing the world title in the 5000-meter race for the second consecutive year, he also clinched a silver medal in the 1500-meter at the World Championships. His prowess was further highlighted at the Diamond League meets, setting European records in the mile and 3000-meter races.
Kenyan marathon runner Kelvin Kiptum, in just his first year of professional racing, has already earned a spot among the illustrious nominees. His astounding performance at the TCS London Marathon nearly broke the world record, a feat he would later achieve at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
He ran an incredible 2:00:35, smashing the previous record by 34 seconds.
Canadian decathlete Pierce LePage rose to prominence this season, claiming the world title in Budapest with a staggering 8909 points, placing him sixth on the all-time leaderboard and setting the second-highest mark ever achieved at the World Championships.
American sprinter Noah Lyles stands as a formidable contender for the 2023 World Athletes of the Year, following a stellar season that saw him clinch three gold medals at the World Athletics Championships, setting a personal best of 9.83 and solidifying his status as a leading figure in track and field.
Spanish race walker Álvaro Martín made history at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, clinching gold in both the 20km and 35km events, becoming the first Spanish athlete to achieve the “double-double”.
Greek long jumper and Olympic gold medalist Miltiádis Tentóglou delivered a remarkable performance at the World Championships, securing the gold with an 8.52-meter jump, the third-longest of his career.
Norwegian hurdler Karsten Warholm overcame a hamstring tear to dominate the 2023 season, clinching a 400-meter world title and setting a new world record, showcasing an unparalleled resilience and determination.
Who Will Claim the Title?
The track and field landscape in the United States has undergone a seismic shift, with the nation’s athletes stepping into the spotlight, led by the indomitable Noah Lyles. As the anticipation builds towards the announcement of the World Athlete of the Year on December 11, the decision rests in the hands of the World Athletics Council, the World Athletics Family, and fans worldwide, who can cast their votes online via World Athletics’ social media platforms.
With a field of exceptional talent, including fellow American Ryan Crouser, Lyles faces stiff competition, adding to the suspense and excitement of this year’s awards. Stay tuned as we await the culmination of an incredible season and the crowning of the 2023 World Athlete of the Year.