Athlete of the year: Three Africans in the race

Faith Kipyegon (Women), Joshua Cheptegei and Eliud Kipchoge (Men) are the only Africans selected among the 20 nominees (ten men and ten women) for the trophy of the best athlete of the year.

Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon is the continent’s only athlete for the election. She is Olympic champion in the 1500m. On the men's side, the Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei, gold medalist in the 5,000m and silver in the 10,000m at the 2020 Olympics and Kenyan marathoner Eliud Kipchoge, crowned in Tokyo, carry Africa’s hopes.


The ten finalists, five men and as many women, will be announced on November 6, to succeed the Swede Armand Duplantis and the Venezuelan Yulimar Rojas, crowned last year.

Africa has won the men’s trophy ten times. The Moroccan Hicham El Guerrouj holds the record for victories (3). And he has been elected three times in a row (2001, 2002 and 2003). A performance that only Usain Bolt has produced, from 2011.

The last African to be awarded the title of best athlete of the year is Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge (2018 and 2019).

Among the ladies, the Africans who have been crowned are Hestrie Cloete (South Africa HIGH JUMP) and the Ethiopians Meseret Defar, Genzebe Dibaba and Almaz Ayana (5000 M ).

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