Faith Kipyegon Awarded Kenya's Highest Honour Hours After Winning Global Award

Kipyegon was named the Female World Athlete of the Year in track events in a new format that saw winners categorized according to their disciplines.

Faith Kipyegon Awarded Kenya's Highest Honour Hours After Winning Global Award
Collage of Faith Kipyegon named the World Athlete of the Year in Track events. /WORLD ATHLETICS

UPDATE: President William Ruto has awarded Kenyan athlete Faith Kipyegon with the Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart (EGH), the country’s highest-ever honour.

"Our athletes continue to excel at various global events as is well exemplified by the shining performance in long-distance races.

"Today, I have conferred upon our world-beating athlete Faith Kipyegon the status of Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart, the highest honour our country awards its citizens who illuminate the path of excellence," he stated while addressing the nation at Uhuru Gardens during the 60th Jamhuri Day celebrations.

"She has earned her place at the very top from running bare feet to breaking two world records within a year is the ultimate state of heroism," he added.

Kenyan athlete and two-time Olympic 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon on Monday, December 11 led three of her fellow countrymen and women in dominating the 2023 World Athletics Awards held in Monte Carlo, Monaco.

Kipyegon was named the Female World Athlete of the Year in track events in a new format that saw winners categorized according to their disciplines.

Unlike in the previous editions where one winner was crowned in the men’s and women’s categories, World Athletics utilized the following disciplines; track, field events and out-of-stadia events.

Kipyegon claimed the Female Athlete of the Year track events with Tigist Assefa of Ethiopia being crowned the best female athlete in out-of-stadia events and Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela named the best female athlete in field events.

Faith Kipyegon celebrates after breaking the world record during a Diamond League meet in Florence, Italy on June 2, 2023. /WORLD ATHLETICS

Kipyegon was on Wednesday, October 11 nominated for the prestigious global award owing to her successful 2023 which saw her break three world records; the world mile, 1500m race and 5000m race.

She also won two world titles, that is, becoming the first woman to win both 1500m and 5000m titles in a single world championship competition.

On the men's side, Kelvin Kiptum, who caused an upset by winning the 2023 Bank of America Chicago Marathon with a time of 2:00:35 and breaking the world record set by legendary marathoner Eliud Kipchoge, bagged the Male Athlete of the Year in out-of- stadia events.

He also claimed victory at the London Marathon thus becoming the series winner at the 2023 World Marathon Majors.

The Kenyan pair of Emmanuel Wanyonyi and Faith Cherotich were crowned the men’s and women’s Rising Stars.

Wanyonyi took silver in 800m at the World Championships before claiming the Diamond League trophy while Cherotich won bronze in 3000m steeplechase at the Worlds before settling for third also in the Diamond League final.

The adaptation of the World Athlete of the Year honours awarded this year follows feedback received during the voting process. Many sensational performances – including an extraordinary 23 world records – were achieved in 2023.

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. As a result, for 2023 the World Athlete of the Year awards were divided into three event categories: track, field and out of stadia.

“The depth of talent and the outstanding performances in our sport this year more than justify the expansion of the World Athletics Awards to recognise the accomplishments by these six athletes across a range of disciplines,” said World Athletics President Sebastian Coe.

“Our World Athletes of the Year alone have achieved seven world records between them in 2023, as well as a host of world titles and major wins, so it is only fitting that they be recognised as the athletes of the year in their respective fields. I congratulate our award winners and all of the athletes nominated for these honours.”

President William Ruto on his part commented "Congratulations to the very deserving Emmanuel Wanyonyi and Faith Cherotich, the winners of the Rising Star in male and female track events - your promise is undeniable and we look forward to many victories in the seasons ahead. Soaring tribute to Kelvin Kiptum, world marathon record holder and now World Athlete of the Year for out-of-stadia events."

In the International Fair Play Award category, Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey emerged as the winner after she was captured consoling Sifan Hassan when she fell during the 10,000m race at the World Championships where she managed to win a silver medal.

World Athletes of the Year for 2023

  1. Women’s track: Faith Kipyegon, KEN, 1500m/mile/5000m
  2. Women’s field: Yulimar Rojas, VEN, triple jump
  3. Women’s out of stadia: Tigist Assefa, ETH, marathon
  4. Men’s track: Noah Lyles, USA, 100m/200m
  5. Men’s field: Mondo Duplantis, SWE, pole vault
  6. Men’s out of stadia: Kelvin Kiptum, KEN, marathon

Coaching Achievement Award- Laurent Meuwly

Woman of the Year- Falilatou Tchanile-Salifou

Photograph of the Year- Mattia Ozbot

Member Federation Award- Athletics Australia

President's Award- Abbott World Marathon Majors

International Fair Play Award- Letesenbet Gidey

Collage of Kelvin Kiptum named World Athlete of The Year in Out of stadia events and Emmanuel Wanyonyi and Faith Cherotich named rising stars. /WORLD ATHLETICS