Warholm, Thompson-Herah named World Athletes of the Year

Elaine Thompson-Herah

Jamaica's Elaine Thompson-Herah sticks out her tongue as she wins the women's 200m final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on August 3, 2021.

Photo credit: Javier Soriano | AFP

What you need to know:

  • Warholm's time of 45.94sec in winning gold is widely considered one of the greatest Olympic track performances of all time.
  • The time erased the 29-year-old record of 46.78sec set by Kevin Young at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
  • "When I realised 45.94 was a reality, I thought, wow, I'll take it," Warholm said at the ceremony at the World Athletics ceremony in Monaco.

Kenya Wednesday missed out on 2021 World Athletics Awards as Olympics 400m hurdles champion Karsten Warholm (Norway) and double Olympics champion Elaine Thompson-Herah were declared the best athletes 

Warholm, who became the first Norwegian to win the Male Athlete of the Year Award, beat four other finalists among them Olympic Marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya.

The other finalists were Uganda’s Tokyo Olympics 5,000m champion Joshua Cheptegei, who also won silver in men’s 10,000m at the Tokyo Summer Games,  Tokyo Olympics shotput champion Ryan Crouser (USA) and - Olympic pole vault champion Mondo Duplantis.

Kipchoge won the award in 2018 and 2019, while Duplantis claimed the 2020 prize.

Warholm, who also won the 2021 Diamond League 400m hurdles title, set a new world record in 400m hurdles with a new time of 46.70 on July 1, 2021 during the Oslo leg of the Diamond League.

The previous record of 46.78 was held by Kevin Young (USA), who set it on August 6, 1992 during the Barcelona Olympic Games.

Warholm went on to improve the record clocking 45.94 to win the 400m hurdles title at the Tokyo Olympic Games on August 3.

Jamaican Thompson-Herah, who scooped her maiden award, follows in the footsteps of compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in claiming the accolade.

She edged out four other athletes including Kenya’s Tokyo Olympics and Diamond league 1,500m champion, Faith Chepngétich and Tokyo Olympics 10,000mand  5,000m champion Sifan Hassan from the Netherlands.

Others who missed out are American Sydney McLaughlin, who won the Olympic 400m hurdles and Tokyo Olympics and Diamond League triple jump champion Yulimar Rojas from Venezuela.

Chepng’etich was eying to become the first Kenyan woman to win the women’s award.

Athletics Kenya for the second time missed out on the Federations Award with Costa Rica Athletics Federation claiming the gong.

Costa Rica from North and Central America and the Caribbean also beat Athletics Australia from Oceania, Czech Athletic Federation (Europe), Ecuador Athletics Federation (South America) and Japan Association of Athletics Federations (Asia).

The Awards were presided over virtually by World Athletics President Sebastian Coe from Monaco.

Male Athlete of the Year: 

Karsten Warholm (Norway)

Female Athlete of the Year:

Elaine Thompson-Herah (Jamaica)

Male Rising Stars: 

Erriyon Knighton (USA)

Female Rising Stars:

Athing Mu (USA)
Member Federations Award: 

Costa Rica Athletics Federation 
Inspiration Award:

Mutaz Essa Barshim (Qatar)
Woman of the Year:

Anju Bobby George (India) 
President’s Award:

Peter Diamond (USA)
Athletics Photograph of the Year:

Ryan Pierse(Australia) Getty Images
Coaching Achievement Award:

Bobby Kersee (USA)


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