Warholm, Thompson-Herah named world athletes of the year

Warholm, Thompson-Herah named world athletes of the year

Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Athletics - Men's 400m Hurdles - Final - Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan - August 3, 2021. Karsten Warholm of Norway reacts after crossing the line to win gold REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

  • Warholm won the men’s award over fellow Olympic gold medalists Joshua Cheptegei (Uganda, 5000m), Ryan Crouser (USA, shot put), Mondo Duplantis (Sweden, pole vault) and Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya, marathon)
  • Thompson-Herah earned the women’s award among finalists that included Sifan Hassan (Netherlands, 5000m/10,000m), Faith Kipyegon (Kenya, 1500m), Sydney McLaughlin (USA, 400m hurdles) and Yulimar Rojas (Venezuela, triple jump)

Norwegian Karsten Warholm and Jamaican Elaine Thompson-Herah were named World Athletics Athletes of the Year on Wednesday on the back of astonishing seasons.

Warholm won the men’s award over fellow Olympic gold medalists Joshua Cheptegei (Uganda, 5000m), Ryan Crouser (USA, shot put), Mondo Duplantis (Sweden, pole vault) and Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya, marathon).

He smashed the world record at the Tokyo Olympics. The Norwegian’s time of 45.94sec in winning gold is widely considered one of the greatest Olympic track performances of all time.

Warholm would have had an impressive enough year just on the back of his first race when he finally broke American Kevin Young’s 1992 46.78 seconds world record with a 46.70 run on home soil in Oslo.

That time was obliterated in the Olympic final in Tokyo, however, when he clocked an astonishing 45.94. American Rai Benjamin finished second in 46.17, also well inside the previous world record.

Presenting the award at a virtual ceremony in Monaco, World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said: "We were rendered speechless by your run."

Warholm, 25, said: "I'm so happy for this. When I first saw the time I thought it must be a mistake. It was a very intense race, I always go out hard and never know what's going on behind me.

"When I realised the time I thought 'I'll take it,'".

Thompson-Herah earned the women’s award among finalists that included Sifan Hassan (Netherlands, 5000m/10,000m), Faith Kipyegon (Kenya, 1500m), Sydney McLaughlin (USA, 400m hurdles) and Yulimar Rojas (Venezuela, triple jump).

She became the first woman to win 100m, 200m and 4x100m golds at one Olympics since Florence Griffith Joyner in 1988. Thompson-Herah also clocked the second-fastest 100m and 200m times in history (10.54, 21.53), trailing only Griffith Joyner’s world records.