Kiptum and Kipyegon make Athlete of the Year final list

World men's marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum. [Chicago Marathon]

The names of the finalists for Men’s and women’s World Athlete of the Year honours have been confirmed, as the countdown to the World Athletics Awards 2023 continues.

The top athletes have achieved sensational performances across a range of athletics disciplines in 2023, winning titles and breaking world records at the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23, one-day meeting circuits, Label Road races and other events around the world.

Kelvin Kiptum who blazed to the 2023 Chicago Marathon, grabbing the global headlines and smashing the World record in the process in 2:00:35 to shatter compatriot Eliud Kipchoge’s record of 2:01:09 set at the 2022 Berlin Marathon is among the finalists.

The performance by Kiptum in Chicago followed the 2023 London Marathon title in April— his second marathon ever where he timed in 2:01:25, just 16 seconds shy of Eliud Kipchoge’s then world record.

Kiptum made the final list for the honours alongside India’s Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra who is both the reigning javelin world and Asian Games champion.

American Ryan Crouser, who is the current shot-put world record holder also made the list. 

Sweden’s Mondo Duplantis who is the pole vault World and Diamond League champion and American sprinter Noah Lyles who holds the 100m and 200m world titles closed the list of five best male athletes.

Kipchoge, who won the Male Athlete of the Year in 2018 and 2019, and was the runner-up in 2020 and 2021 was dropped.

Faith Kipyegon celebrates after wining women's 5000m gold medal at the World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023 in Budapest, Hungary. [Xinhua]

Kipyegon, who set new world records in 1500m, 5000m and mile and is also the world champion in both 1,500 and 5000m from the Budapest World Athletics Championships headlines five best female Athletes of the Year and stand out the hot favourite for the honours

In June Kipyegon smashed the world 1500m record by clocking a 3:49.11. A week later she clocked a 14:05.20 in 5000m in Paris Diamond League meeting, another word record. Six weeks later, she clocked a 4:07.64 in the mile in Monaco to set another world record.

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

Voting closed on October 28. The World Athletes of the Year will be announced on World Athletics’ platforms on December 11, as part of the World Athletics Awards 2023.

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