World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge failed to win the World Athletics of the Year top award as winners were announced on Wednesday, December 1st, 2021
The twice Olympic champion lost to Norway’s Karsten Warholm for the World Athletics Male Athlete of the Year Award.
Jamaican sprinter Elaine Thompson-Herah,meanwhile, took the World Athletics Female Athlete of the Year Award.
Kipchoge, Olympic 1500m champion Faith Chepng’etich Kipyegon and 800m specialist Emmanuel Wanyonyi missed the prestigious titles.
World 800m record holder David Rudisha (2010) and Kipchoge (2018 and 2019) are the only Kenyans who have won the global awards. Former world 5000m champion Daniel Kipng’etich Komen missed the title by one vote in 1996.
In 2011, Vivian Cheruiyot narrowly missed the crown as she lost to Australia’s 400m hurdler Sally Pearson.
Warholm won the World Athletics Male Athlete of the Year Award for a season in which he broke the men’s 400m hurdles world record twice en route to becoming the first man to run the race in under 46 seconds, achieving that feat in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic final.
Elaine Thompson-Herah had a year to remember in which she came close to breaking Florence Griffith Joyner‘s long-standing women’s 100m world record.
The Jamaican sprinter, who won three gold medals in Tokyo, set the second-fastest time ever recorded when she clocked 10.54 seconds at the Eugene Diamond League in August.
High jumpers Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi, who made headlines around the world when they opted to share the gold medal at Tokyo 2020 in a spirit of friendship, were awarded the World Athletics Inspiration Award.
During the small ceremony, which was held largely virtually although attended in person in Monaco by Barshim, the pair reminisced about that moment in the Japanese capital, when Barshim asked a World Athletics official if they could share gold.
Also recognised were their fellow Tokyo Olympians Erriyon Knighton and Athing Mu of the USA.
Mu, the women’s 800m Olympic champion, was recognised with the World Athletics Female Rising Star of the Year Award, while her compatriot Knighton – who is still only 17 – was given the Male Rising Star accolade to mark his fourth-place finish in the men’s 200m final.
India’s Anju Bobby George, her country’s only World Championships medallist in athletics, was awarded the World Athletics Woman of the Year Award for her ongoing work with both the Athletics Federation of India as well as her own foundation, laying the pathway for the next generation.
Bobby Kersee, the coach of both Allyson Felix and Sydney McLaughlin, was presented with the World Athletics Coaching Achievement Award.
THE 2021 WORLD ATHLETICS AWARDS WINNERS
World Athletics Inspiration Award: Mutaz Essa Barshim (Qatar) & Gianmarco Tamberi (Italy)
World Athletics Member Federation Award: Costa Rica Athletics Federation
World Athletics Woman of the Year Award: Anju Bobby George (India)
World Athletics Male Athlete of the Year Award: Karsten Warholm (Norway)
World Athletics Female Athlete of the Year Award: Elaine Thompson-Herah (Jamaica)
World Athletics Male Rising Star of the Year Award: Erriyon Knighton (USA)
World Athletics Female Rising Star of the Year Award: Athing Mu (USA)
World Athletics Coaching Achievement Award: Bobby Kersee (USA)
World Athletics Photograph of the Year Award: Ryan Pierse (Australia/ Getty Images)
World Athletics President’s Award: Peter Diamond (USA)