Nairobi, Kenya | NOW THEN DIGITAL — Kenyan long-distance runner Kelvin Kiptum, who recently broke the world marathon record, has been nominated for the prestigious World Athlete of the Year (male) award for 2023. Notably, the previous record-holder, Eliud Kipchoge, is not among the 11 nominees revealed by World Athletics.
Kiptum’s outstanding performance in the 42-kilometer race this year earned him his first-ever nomination for the award. In April, he clinched the London Marathon title, completing the race in a remarkable two hours, one minute, and 25 seconds. This achievement made him the second-fastest marathoner globally, just behind fellow Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge (2:01:09).
The 23-year-old Kiptum set a new world record in the Chicago Marathon, finishing the 42 kilometers in an astonishing 2 hours and 35 seconds, making him the first man to complete the distance in under two hours and one minute. His rise to fame began when he won the Valencia Marathon in Spain in 2:01:53, becoming the third-fastest marathoner ever, behind Kipchoge and Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele.
In Valencia, Kiptum not only secured the title but also broke the course record of 2:03:00, set by Kenyan runner Evans Chebet in 2020. His Valencia performance was the fastest marathon debut in history.
Kiptum’s remarkable year continued when he clinched the London Marathon title in 2:01:25, breaking the course record of 2:02:37, previously set by Kipchoge in 2019.
Following his victories, Kipchoge himself praised Kiptum and predicted that he would break the world record, which later came true in Chicago, where he also shattered the course record of 2:03:45, previously held by Kenyan runner Dennis Kimetto.
Notably, only two Kenyan men have been named World Athlete of the Year: David Rudisha in 2010 and Eliud Kipchoge in 2018 and 2019. Kipchoge, who was nominated for 2022 (Tokyo and Berlin Marathon victories) and 2021 (second Olympic Marathon title), is not on the list this year, marking the first time he has missed out in three years.
Kelvin Kiptum faces stiff competition in this category, with nominees including world champions such as Neeraj Chopra (India, javelin), Ryan Crouser (USA, shot put), Soufiane El Bakkali (Morocco, 3,000m steeplechase), Mondo Duplantis (Sweden, pole vault), Jakob Ingebrigtsen (Norway, 1,500m/mile/5,000m), Pierce Lepage (Canada, decathlon), Noah Lyles (USA, 100m and 200m), Alvaro Martin (Spain, race walk), Miltiadis Tentoglou (Greece, long jump), and Karsten Warholm (Norway, 400m hurdles/400m).
In the female category, Faith Kipyegon, a three-time world 1,500m champion, is the sole Kenyan nominee among the 11 women selected.
Voting for the World Athletes of the Year closes on October 28. The World Athletics Council’s vote contributes 50% to the final result, while the World Athletics Family’s votes and public votes each carry 25%. Following the voting process, which includes fan participation on social media platforms, World Athletics will announce the five male and five female finalists on November 13-14. The winners will be revealed on December 11.
Male Athlete of the Year nominee ✨
— World Athletics (@WorldAthletics) October 12, 2023