The American hurdler was voted ahead of Nigeria’s Tobiloba Amusan
Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone and Mondo Duplantis have been named World Athletics Athletes of the Year (Women & Men) after world record-breaking performances in 2022.
McLaughlin-Levrone, who lowered her 400m hurdles world record twice this year, won the women’s award ahead of Nigeria’s Tobiloba Amusan who many had hoped will win the top accolade.
McLaughlin-Levrone is the first American to win Athlete of the Year since fellow 400m hurdler Dalilah Muhammad in 2019
Duplantis on his part saw off the stiff competition from Kenya’s marathon legend Eliud Kipchoge who was eyeing a hat-trick of titles having won in 2018 and 2019.
America’s Noah Lyles and two others were also in the running for the men’s award eventually won by Duplantis.
Duplantis broke the world pole vault record on three occasion and became world champion indoors and outdoors in 2022.
The duo of Erriyon Knighton and Adriana Vilagos were also voted as the Male and Female Rising Star of the Year at an exquisite ceremony held Monday in Monaco, France, by the World Athletics.
Despite failing to win the top prize that could have capped what has been a phenomenal year for the hurdler, Amusan will be proud of her unprecedented feats in the period under review.
After years of winning in the periphery and agonisingly missing out on podium finishes at major competitions like the Olympic Games and World Championships, Amusan finally hit the right note at the end of last year’s athletics season.
It was then she began her historic run on the track with the Diamond League trophy last year where she set a new African record of 12.42 seconds to win the high hurdles in Zurich.
That feat made her the first Nigerian athlete to win a Diamond League discipline at the final and be crowned the Diamond League champion for the year.
Since that historic run in Clast year September, Amusan has been growing in leaps and bounds.
She started 2022 by successfully defending her African Championships title in Mauritius in early June before travelling to Paris to improve on her 12.42 seconds African record as she ran 12.41 seconds at the Diamond League meeting in Paris.
The next point of call for Amusan was Benin City, Edo State for the All Nigerian Championships.
As widely expected, Amusan erased the 12.63 seconds record set in 1997 by Angela Atede in Lagos as she won another national title for herself having run an impressive 12.58 seconds to add the championships record to her collections.
The biggest moment for Amusan was in Eugene, Oregon where she produced one of the biggest surprises of the World Championships.
The Nigerian superstar sped to a world record of 12.12 seconds in the semifinals of the 100m hurdles, following it with a wind-assisted 12.06 seconds in the final to win gold.
Amusan went on to win the Commonwealth Games title in a Games record of 12.30 seconds and in the process became the first Nigerian track and field athlete to successfully defend an individual title at the Games.
Amusan completed the season by successfully defending her Diamond League crown to the delight of her fans across the world.
She set a Meet Record of 12.29s to win her final race in Zurich.
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