Guide to the World Athletics Awards 2020

With just five days to go until the World Athletics Awards 2020, the attention of the athletics world now shifts to the annual celebration honouring the world's best athletes whose achievements helped contribute to another unforgettable year for the sport.


This year's Awards ceremony, which will be staged as a virtual event on Saturday 5 December and streamed live on the World Athletics YouTube channel, its Facebook page and via Twitter, will not only celebrate its finest athletes. It will be a celebration of the sport itself, to also honour and recognise organisations and individuals from around the world who met and overcame the unprecedented challenges, roadblocks and disruptions brought on by the global COVID-19 pandemic to ensure competitive opportunities for athletes and entertaining events for our fans across the globe.

Eight awards, including those in three new categories, will be presented at the World Athletics Awards 2020, this year hosted by legendary sprint stars Sanya Richards-Ross and Ato Boldon.

World Athletes of the Year

The most eagerly-anticipated of those eight will be Male and Female World Athlete of the Year, recognising the top-performing athletes of 2020. A three-way voting process – split between the World Athletics Council, the World Athletics Family, and the worldwide community of athletics fans - determined the five male and five female finalists.

This year's male finalists:

Joshua Cheptegei, Uganda

Ryan Crouser, USA

Mondo Duplantis, Sweden

Johannes Vetter, Germany

Karsten Warholm, Norway

And this year's female finalists:

Letesenbet Gidey, Ethiopia

Sifan Hassan, Netherlands

Peres Jepchirchir, Kenya

Yulimar Rojas, Venezuela

Elaine Thompson-Herah, Jamaica

Covid Inspiration Award

This award will recognise an individual or group of individuals whose efforts, despite the challenges of 2020, have resulted in the delivery of a particularly inspiring athletics event or experience.

The three nominees, as selected by World Athletics Council Members, are (listed alphabetically):

Herculis EBS Monaco Wanda Diamond League meeting

Ultimate Garden Clash, an original idea by Renaud Lavillenie

Gdynia 2020 for the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships

Member Federations Award

When the global Covid-19 pandemic shut down most of the sporting world in late March, World Athletics' Member Federations were among the first to adapt to the new circumstances to ensure that the sport would continue to move forward and serve its athletes, fans and greater community. Like the Covid Inspiration Award, this honour will recognise a particularly inspiring effort by a Member Federation.

The six nominees, listed alphabetically, are:

Athletics Kenya (Confederation of African Athletics)

Athletics New Zealand (Oceania Athletics Association)

Nicaraguan Athletics Federation (North American, Central American & Caribbean Athletics Association)

Palestine Athletic Federation (Asian Athletics Association)

Peruvian Athletics Federation (Confederation of South American Athletics)

Polish Athletics Association (European Athletics)

President’s Award                              

This award recognises and honours exceptional service to athletics.

Coaching Achievement Award

This award is given to a coach who has helped athletes thrive, particularly in this difficult year.

Athletes Community Award

New for 2020, the Athletes Community Award is a special award from the athletes to a group of individuals who have helped and supported them and their communities throughout trying times.