Sat | Dec 2, 2023

McLaughlin-Levrone edges Fraser-Pryce for World Athlete of the Year

Published:Tuesday | December 6, 2022 | 12:07 AMDaniel Wheeler/Staff Reporter
World  400m hurdles record holder Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone
World 400m hurdles record holder Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone

In the most competitive field of nominees in years, the World Athletics 2022 Women’s Athlete of the Year went to the one who has redefined the 400 metres hurdles event, World and Olympic champion Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone.

The announcement was made yesterday at the World Athletics Awards held in Monaco as athletes were honoured for their 2022 seasons. The 23-year-old American edged out five-time World 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica, as well as World 100m hurdles champion and world record holder Tobi Amusan of Nigeria.

McLaughlin-Levrone twice broke the world record in 2022, including her staggering 50.68 seconds performance to win the World title in Eugene last July, adding to the Olympic crown that she won in Tokyo last year, also in world record fashion.

McLaughlin-Levrone said that her season checked off the boxes of every goal that she has set for herself.

“Dreams come true and answered prayers. Everything we aimed to do, we accomplished and I am grateful for the opportunity. It makes me feel super honoured to have been able to do it, be a part of it, accomplish that goal of just breaking the barrier of 51 (seconds),” McLaughlin-Levrone said in a recorded statement revealing her win. “But it also excites me because I know that it is more. There is more possible and I think that as a whole, this generation of athletes is figuring out that there is a lot more that we can do and I am excited to be a part of that.”

Fraser-Pryce, who won the award in 2013, completed a 2022 season where she retained her 100m title at the World Championships in Oregon in July with a championship record time of 10.67 seconds and finished the season clocking seven sub-10.70 times. No Jamaican athlete has won the award multiple times. Amusan, one of the other finalists, won the World 100m hurdles title in a wind-assisted time of 12.06 but clocked a world record time of 12.12 in the semifinals. World champion pole vaulter and world record holder Armando Duplantis of Sweden won the Men’s Athlete of the Year award.

World Championship 200m bronze medallist, American Erriyon Knighton, won the men’s Rising Star Award for the second year in a row, an award where World Under-20 triple jump champion Jaydon Hibbert of Jamaica was also a finalist.

World Under-20 100m hurdles champion Kerrica Hill of Jamaica missed out on the Women’s Rising Star award which was won by Serbia’s Adriana Vilagos who successfully defended her Under-20 javelin title at the World Under-20 championships last August in Colombia.