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Noah Lyles among six World Athletics Athlete of the Year winners

World Athletics divided its World Athlete of the Year awards into three categories for the first time — men’s and women’s track, field and out of stadium events.

The winners were: American sprinter Noah Lyles (men’s track), Kenyan distance runner Faith Kipyegon (women’s track), Swedish pole vaulter Mondo Duplantis (men’s field), Venezuelan triple jumper Yulimar Rojas (women’s field), Kenyan marathoner Kelvin Kiptum (men’s out of stadium) and Ethiopian marathoner Tigist Assefa (women’s out of stadium).

Previously, World Athletics named one men’s and one women’s Athlete of the Year across all events. A change was made for this year after feedback received during the voting process.

“When it came to compiling the votes, athletes, fans and World Athletics Family members commented that it was incredibly hard to limit the vote to just one athlete, because of the various disciplines and the vast differences in skill sets required,” according to World Athletics.

Lyles, who swept 100m, 200m and 4x100m titles at August’s world championships, became the first American to win a Male Athlete of the Year since decathlete Ashton Eaton in 2015.

One of Lyles’ goals has been to win the award. He joked with Duplantis during worlds that Duplantis’ world record feats had prevented him from winning it in past years.

Duplantis, an Athlete of the Year in 2020 and 2022, and Kiptum each broke a world record this year. As did American shot putter Ryan Crouser, who was also a men’s finalist along with javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra of India.

Kipyegon became the first Kenyan to win a Female Athlete of the Year after she broke world records in the 1500m, mile and 5000m in 2023. The 29-year-old mom also became the first woman to sweep 1500m and 5000m golds at a single worlds.

Assefa broke the women’s marathon world record in Berlin in September. Rojas won the world title and Diamond League title in the triple jump, which she has dominated for the last seven years.

The other finalists were 400m hurdler Femke Bol of the Netherlands (world champion) and sprinter Shericka Jackson of Jamaica (world 200m champion).

American Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone won the award last season and ended this season early due to a minor knee issue, missing worlds.

The indoor track and field season begins in January. The next major competition is the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials on Feb. 3 in Orlando.