Nairobi — Kelvin Kiptum’s star continues to shine as the 23-year old Kenyan was drafted in the preliminary list of 11 nominated for the World Athletics ‘Male Athlete of the Year’ award, just a few days after his crushing run to set a new marathon world record in Chicago.
Kiptum became the first man to ever run a marathon in under 2:01 when he clocked 2:00:35 in winning the Chicago Marathon, clearing 34 seconds off the previous world record held by Eliud Kipchoge.
This was his third career marathon victory, having won his debut in Valencia last year when he clocked the fastest ever debut recorded, and followed that up with victory in the London Marathon earlier this year.
For the award, Kiptum will look to become only the third Kenya to win it. Kipchoge won it back to back in 2018 and 2019 in the backdrop of both his Ineos 1:59 run as well as his world record at the Berlin Marathon.
David Rudisha, the 800m world record holder was the first Kenyan to ever win it when he clinched the crown in 2010.
But to clinch the award, Kiptum will face off stiff competition. American Noah Lyles who clinched three gold medals at the World Championships in Budapest is seen as the front runner, having won the 100m and 200m double before adding on the 4x100m relay gold with Team USA.
Lyles was also undefeated last season in six 200m races.
Another athlete top on the list to bag the award is Swedish Pole Vaulter Mondo Duplantis who broke the world record this season as he won the Diamond Trophy. He also clinched the world title.
Other athletes to be nominated for the award include Indian Javelin star Neeraj Chopra (world and Asian Champion), American shot putter Ryan Crouser (World champion, world record holder), Moroccan steeplechaser Sofiane El Bakkali who was undefeated in six finals and also clincged the world title, Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigtsen (5,000m world champion, 1500m world silver medalist, European records for 1500m, mile and 3000m), Canadian decathlete Pierce LePage, Spanish race walker Alvaro Martin (World 20km and 35km race walk champion, World leader 20km race walk), Greek long jumper Miltiadis Tentoglou as well as Norwegian Karsten Warholm (World 400m hurdles champion, European indoor 400m champion).
A three-way voting process will determine the finalists.
The World Athletics Council and the World Athletics Family will cast their votes by email, while fans can vote online via the World Athletics social media platforms. Individual graphics for each nominee will be posted on Facebook, X, Instagram and YouTube this week; a ‘like’ on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube or a retweet on X will count as one vote.
The World Athletics Council’s vote will count for 50% of the result, while the World Athletics Family’s votes and the public votes will each count for 25% of the final result.
Voting for the World Athletes of the Year closes at midnight on Saturday 28 October. At the conclusion of the voting process, five women and five men finalists will be announced by World Athletics on 13-14 November.
The winners will be revealed on World Athletics’ social media platforms on 11 December.