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World Athletics announces Female Athlete of the Year nominees

Faith Kipyegon

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - AUGUST 22: Faith Kipyegon of Kenya winner of the gold medal competing in 1500m Women Final during Day 4 of the World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023 at the National Athletics Centre on August 22, 2023 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Andy Astfalck/BSR Agency/Getty Images)

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Kenyan Faith Kipyegon, who broke three world records and won two world titles in 2023, heads the list of 11 nominees for World Athletics Female Athlete of the Year.

Kipyegon, a 29-year-old mom, broke world records in the 1500m, mile and 5000m in 2023, plus became the first woman to win titles at both 1500m and 5000m at one world championships.

Other finalists include Ethiopians Tigst Assefa, who on Sept. 24 lowered the women’s marathon world record by 2 minutes, 11 seconds to 2:11:53, and Gudaf Tsegay, who broke Kipyegon’s 5000m world record on Sept. 17.

Sha’Carri Richardson, who won 100m and 4x100m gold and 200m bronze at August’s worlds, is the lone American nominee.

The other nominees are all world champions: Dutchwoman Femke Bol (400m hurdles), Jamaican Shericka Jackson (200m), Japanese Haruka Kitaguchi (javelin), Ukrainian Yaroslava Mahuchikh (high jump), Spaniard Maria Perez (race walk), Venezuelan Yulimar Rojas (triple jump) and Bahrain’s Winfred Yavi (3000m steeplechase).

Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, who won the award last year, ended her season early, before worlds, due to a minor knee issue.

Kipyegon is bidding to become the first Kenyan woman to win the award. The last female distance runner to win was Ethiopian Almaz Ayana in 2016.

From here, a three-way voting process determines five finalists: World Athletics Council vote (50%), World Athletics family vote (25%) and public vote through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube (25%).

Voting closes at midnight Oct. 28. World Athletics plans to announce women’s and men’s finalists Nov. 13-14. The men’s nominees have yet to be announced.

Winners will be announced Dec. 11.