American track superstar Sydney McLaughlin named World Athlete of the Year
U.S. sprinter and hurdler Sydney McLaughlin was named World Athlete of the Year by World Athletics on Monday evening, alongside men’s winner and Swedish pole vault world champion Mondo Duplantis.
McLaughlin, 23, has had not only a stunning year on the track but an already remarkable career in athletics. She is the world 400m hurdles and 4x400m champion. In 2022 she broke the world 400m hurdles record with 51.41 at the U.S. championships, and then broke her own record by almost three-quarters of a second, running 50.68 at the world championships in Oregon to win the world title.
Setting four world records over 13 months, McLaughlin was the first woman to break the 52-second (June 2021) and 51-second (July 2022) barriers in the 400m hurdles.
The award “means absolutely everything,” McLaughlin said at the ceremonies, held at the Prince of Monaco’s palace. “I’m so grateful for the opportunity, first and foremost, all the glory to God. For my team, my coach, my trainers, my husband, my family, everybody,” she added. “It has been an unreal season and I’m really grateful that it has culminated in this to cap it all off.”
McLaughlin, who was born in New Jersey and is married to former NFL player Andre Levrone Jr., called the awards ceremony “an unreal experience that I will never forget.”
The track phenom was the 2015 world youth champion, and in 2016 became the youngest athlete since 1980 to qualify for the U.S. Olympic track team, after running to third place at the U.S. Olympic trials with the current world under-18 best of 54.15 seconds.
McLaughlin beat 100m hurdle world champ Tobi Amusan of Nigeria, Jamaica’s world 100m sprint legend Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Peru’s Kimberly Garcia (world 20K race walk champion) and Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas, world indoor and outdoor triple jump champion, to win the award.
Men’s World Athlete of the Year
On the men’s side, Swedish pole vault world champ Mondo Duplantis was named World Athlete of the Year, after winning the world pole vault indoor and outdoor double in 2022. Duplantis improved his own world record to 6.21m and claimed the Diamond League and European crowns.
Duplantis, 23, also won the award in 2020. “Going into the year, I had really high expectations of myself and I had some really big goals,” said Duplantis. “I wanted to win the world indoors, the world outdoors, the Europeans, the Diamond League final, and I wanted to break the world record a few times,” he added.
“I was able to do that and it was a bonus–the cherry on top–to do be able to do it [break the world record] at the right times, to do it at world indoors and do it at world outdoors. I can’t complain.”
The other finalists for the men’s award were Kenyan world champion marathoner Eliud Kipchoge, American sprinter and world 200m champ Noah Lyles, Morocco’s steeple champ Soufiane El Bakkali and Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen, world 5,000m champ.
posted Tuesday December 6th
by Running Magazine