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Kipyegon, Kiptum crowned World Athletes of the year

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Faith Kipyegon celebrates with her second world title from Budapest.
Faith Kipyegon celebrates with her second world title from Budapest.
  • Faith Kipyegon named female athlete of the year – track
  • Kiptum named world athlete of the year – out of stadium
  • World Athletics introduced a new awards format

World record holders Kevin Kiptum and Faith Kipyegon were among winners in six major categories as World Athletics announced its athlete of the year winners on Monday night. The world governing body made a shift to its tradition in the awards, and instead of awarding both male and female athletes of the year, divided it into categories.

Kiptum, the world record holder of the marathon, was named ‘Athlete of the year, out of stadium’, while Kipyegon, world record holder of the women’s 1500m and the mile was named ‘Athlete of the year, track’.

But still, despite the division of categories, Faith Kipyegon made history, becoming the first ever Kenyan woman to win the top World Athletics award after her imperious campaign in the 2023 track season.

The 29-year old set three world records; in her traditional 1500m, the mile as well as the 5,000m, though the later was broken by Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay.

Kipyegon also dominated in major championships, winning the Diamond Trophy, a cherry on top of her major cake, successfully defending her world title in the 1500m, where she also clinched a bonus in winning the 5,000,

This was the first season in which Kipyegon doubled both the 1500m and the 5,000m and it bore great dividends, with world titles and world records in both.

Kipyegon’s Magnificent achievements

Faith Kipyegon celebrates her world record with Winnie Nanyondo (Photo - Diamond League Twitter)

Faith Kipyegon celebrates her world record with Winnie Nanyondo (Photo – Diamond League Twitter)

“Wow I am so proud of myself. To have achieved what I have achieved this year was magnificent. It was a dream come true from long time ago and I am so proud of myself,” Kipyegon said in a low key ceremony in Monaco.

Meanwhile, 24-year old Kiptum was also rewarded as male athlete of the year, in the out of stadium category. The Kenyan broke barriers this year, becoming the first athlete to legally run a marathon in under 2:01 when he clocked 2:00:35 to clinch the Chicago Marathon title in October.

Kiptum 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 London Marathon in April in 2:01:25.

The budding marathon star, who now hopes he can become the first man to legally dip under two hours in a marathon, has also been named in Kenya’s 10-man provisional list for the Olympic Games in Paris next year.

Meanwhile, there were two more Kenyans in the list of eight overall winners from the night in Monaco, as Emmanuel Wanyonyi and Faith Cherotich were named as the emerging stars of the year.

World Championships medalists 

Emmanuel Wanyonyi celebrates after winning the World Under-20 800m title in Nairobi. PHOTO/World U20 LOC

Emmanuel Wanyonyi celebrates after winning the World Under-20 800m title in Nairobi. PHOTO/World U20 LOC

The Kenyan teenagers both won medals at the World Athletics Championships Budapest, 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 winners of the night included double world champion Noah Lyles who was named the track athlete of the year while Ethiopian marathoner, the new women’s world record holder, Tigist Assefa was named female athlete of the year, outside stadium.

Venezuiela’s Yulimer Rojas was named athlete of the year, field while Swedish pole vaulter, also the world record holder, Mondo Duplantis, won the men’s award.

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