World Athletics has named Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone and Mondo Duplantis Athletes of the Year after world record-breaking performances in 2022.
McLaughlin-Levrone, who lowered her 400m hurdles world record twice this year, won the award for the first time. She became the first American to win Athlete of the Year since fellow 400m hurdler Dalilah Muhammad in 2019.
“I would describe 2022 for myself by just saying incredible,” McLaughlin-Levrone said. “Everything that we aimed to do we were able to accomplish.”
The other finalists were Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan, who broke the 100m hurdles world record en route to the world title; Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who won her fifth world 100m title; Peru’s Kimberly Garcia, who swept the 20km and 35km race walk world titles, and Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas, who broke her own triple jump world record and swept the indoor and outdoor world titles.
McLaughlin-Levrone has said she wants to add the flat 400m to her programme in the coming years. She has never run that event at a senior championship meet, but showed her flat potential in the 4x400m relay at worlds in July. Her split — 47.91 seconds — made her the seventh-fastest relay performer in history and second-fastest in the last 33 years behind Allyson Felix.
Duplantis, on the other hand, a Swede who was raised in the US, won the men’s award for the second time in three years. He upped his pole vault world record three times in 2022 and swept the world indoor and outdoor and Diamond League titles in the event.
“It’s probably been by far the best year that I’ve ever had,” Duplantis said.
Ten athletes were nominated each for the male and female categories in October. A three-way voting process determined the finalists. Voting closed on October 31.