Pick your top performers of the year in multiple categories in our annual readers’ poll
Another remarkable year of athletics is drawing to a close, leaving behind it a trail of amazing performances and huge talking points. World titles have been won and lost, while more world records have tumbled across the sport.
Now is the chance for you to decide whose efforts deserve further celebration. Below you will find our shortlists to choose from for a wide variety of honours.
There is no physical award for the winners, but the real prize comes in being recognised by the incredibly knowledgeable AW readership. Who gets your vote?
To vote, see the bottom of this article. Deadline for submissions is midnight Sunday November 19.
The winners will be published in the December issue of AW.
Neeraj Chopra: After missing out on gold in Eugene last year, the Olympic javelin champion became the first Indian to win a world title, coming out on top in Budapest, before then adding a second Asian Games title to his collection.
Ryan Crouser: The American continued to amaze in 2023, destroying his shot put world record with a throw of 23.56m back in May. He then defied medical advice and two blood clots in his leg to win his second consecutive world title with a championship record of 23.51m.
Mondo Duplantis: Another dominant force in his event, the Swede also landed his second consecutive world title – in the pole vault. He rounded of his season in some style, breaking the world record for the seventh time with a clearance of 6.23m at the Diamond League Final in Eugene.
Soufiane El Bakkali: World record-holder Lamecha Girma was arguably the most dominant athlete in the men’s steeplechase this year, but Olympic champion El Bakkali produced the goods at the most important time as he beat his Ethiopian foe to secure a second successive world title.
Jakob Ingebrigtsen: Having to settle for 1500m world silver again hurt the Norwegian, but his year was still rammed with highlights. As well as 5000m world gold, there was a 1500m/3000m European indoor double and European records over 1500m, one mile and 3000m. He also produced a 2000m world record and world best over two miles.
Kelvin Kiptum: The Kenyan had the watching world rubbing their collective eyes with a blistering second half that took him to an astonishing London Marathon victory. The 23-year-old’s next trick was to destroy Eliud Kipchoge’s world record, clocking 2:00:35 in Chicago.
Noah Lyles: The American achieved his stated ambition of a “threepeat” in Budapest as he sped his way to 100m, 200m and 4x100m world golds. He became the fifth man in history to complete a sprint double at the World Championships.
Alvaro Martin: Spain proved to be a race walking superpower this year, with Martin at the heart of it. Having won the 20km event on the opening day of the World Championships, the European champion then landed gold in the 35km contest.
Miltiadis Tentoglou: The Olympic long jump champion again demonstrated his ability to get the job done in the heat of championships battle, successfully defending his world title and winning a third successive European indoor gold.
Karsten Warholm: He wasn’t quite his usual domineering self across the season, but the Norwegian won back his 400m hurdles world title (the third of his career), as well as winning European indoor 400m gold.
Tigist Assefa: In just her third marathon, the Ethiopian rewrote the history books by taking over two minutes off the women’s world record, running an incredible 2:11:53 to win in Berlin for the second year in a row.
Femke Bol: Her biggest rival in the 400m hurdles, Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, might have been missing but the Dutch athlete was sensational in 2023. She broke the long-standing world indoor 400m record in February, before retaining her 400m European indoor title. Outdoors, she became 400m hurdles world champion and broke the European record with 51.45 in London – the third-fastest time ever.
Sifan Hassan: The Dutch athlete produced fireworks on the road and the track. At the World Championships, a late fall meant missing out on 10,000m honours but she went on to win 5000m silver and 1500m bronze in Budapest. Her first forays into the marathon brought memorable wins in London and Chicago, a European record of 2:13:44 coming in the latter.
Shericka Jackson: The Jamaican successfully defended her world 200m title, clocking the second-fastest time ever (21.41) to take gold. She also won silver 100m and 4x100m silver medals, as well as beating world champion Sha’Carri Richardson in the 100m in the Diamond League final.
Faith Kipyegon: An incredible 1500m and 5000m double at the World Championships capped an incredible year for the Kenyan, who also broke the 1500m, mile and 5000m world records in the earlier part of the summer.
Yaroslava Mahuchikh: After high jump silver in 2019 and 2022, the Ukrainian Olympic bronze medallist upgraded to gold in Budapest, having also won her second successive European indoor title.
Maria Perez: Just as her compatriot Alvaro Martin did, the Spaniard struck World Championships race walking gold over both the 20km and 35km disciplines.
Sha’Carri Richardson: The colourful American bounced back from a difficult 2022 to seize her first major honour, the national champion winning the 100m title in Budapest before also helping her country to 4x100m relay success.
Yulimar Rojas: It took until her final leap of the competition to do it, but the world record-holder landed her fourth triple jump world title in a row this summer. You have to go back to the 2016 Olympics for the last time the Venezuelan didn’t finish a global championships on the top step of the podium in the event.
Gudaf Tsegay: The Ethiopian memorably held her nerve and her racing line to take 10,000m gold in Budapest before producing a world record-breaking 5000m run at the Diamond League final in Eugene as she took almost five seconds off the mark set by Kipyegon.
Eugene Amo-Dadzie: “The world’s fastest accountant” made a big impression on the sprinting world, winning bronze at the British Championships to make the first World Championships of his career. The 31-year-old lowered his 100m personal best to 9.93.
Callum Elson: The 24-year-old put himself on the map by taking silver over the mile at the inaugural World Road Running Championships in Riga, having also won the national title and being part of the British team which came sixth in the Mixed Relay at the World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst.
Neil Gourley: The first major medal of the Scot’s career arrived as he won 3000m silver at the European Indoor Championships behind Jakob Ingebrigtsen. The national champion both indoors and out also reached his second world 1500m final.
Zharnel Hughes: A spectacular summer saw the Jamaican-based sprinter take down the long-standing British records over 100m and 200m, events in which he also won the national title. That form took him to world 100m bronze in Budapest, where he narrowly missed the podium for the longer distance too.
Matthew Hudson-Smith: Despite serious injury troubles throughout the season, the European champion only just missed out on becoming world 400m champion. His silver medal in Budapest followed a European record-breaking run in the semi-finals.
Kenny Ikeji: The latter part of the 21-year-old’s season didn’t go to plan but the highlight came in winning the NCAA (US collegiate) hammer title. A throw of 77.92m not only won the competition but also represented a British under-23 record and took him to No.3 on the UK all-time rankings.
Josh Kerr: For the second year in a row, an Edinburgh AC athlete sprang a surprise to beat Jakob Ingebrigtsen to the world 1500m title. The Olympic bronze medallist doesn’t race often, but he peaked perfectly and surged his way to an unforgettable gold.
Rory Leonard: The 22-year-old helped Great Britain to top spot on the European U23 Championships medals table by landing 10,000m gold in Espoo.
George Mills: Having missed out on World Championships 1500m selection, the 24-year-old channelled his disappointment into a brilliant end to the season. Third place in the Bowerman Mile in Eugene saw him go to No.3 on the UK all-time rankings with 3:47.65.
Ben Pattison: Having only just qualified for the World Championships team at the last minute, Pattison seized his chance and ran the race of his life in Budapest to win 800m bronze.
Molly Caudery: The Commonwealth silver medallist took great strides forward this year, winning her first outdoor national pole vault title with 4.71m. She strengthened her position of second on the UK all-time list when leaping a 4.75m PB in finishing fifth at the World Championships.
Keely Hodgkinson: Another global championships, another silver medal for the 800m British record-holder. Once again, the 21-year-old Olympic silver medallist narrowly missed out on the top prize in a season which saw her lower her national mark to 1:55.19. The Diamond League winner also successfully defended her European indoor title.
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: After serious injuries and recent disappointments at major championships, the 2019 heptathlon gold medallist put herself back on top of the world in remarkable style. After a memorable duel with America’s Anna Hall, the Briton was left with another golden moment to savour.
Morgan Lake: A big return to form saw the 26-year-old break the British indoor high jump record with a leap of 1.99m in February. A fifth national indoor title followed, as did an eighth outdoors, before fourth place at the World Championships underlined her ability to compete at the top level.
Laura Muir: A challenging year off the track saw the 30-year-old still manage to impress on it. There was a third European indoor 1500m title, while outdoors the World Championships 1500m sixth placer also broke the British mile record, won the Weltklasse 800m and the Brussels Diamond League 1500m. Third place in the Diamond League final in 3:55.16 was the second-fastest time of her career.
Charlotte Purdue: After a challenging time with injury, Purdue returned to marathon form in style as she smashed her PB by over a minute, running 2:22:17 to move to joint second at the time on the UK all-time list behind former world record-holder Paula Radcliffe.
Jazmin Sawyers: The big moment of the 29-year-old’s year arrived in Istanbul as she memorably leapt to European indoor long jump. In doing so, she also broke the fabled seven-metre mark and showed how effective visualisation and positive self-talk can be!
Katie Snowden: A season of big progress saw the European Champs fourth placer take the British 1500m title, before making the final of the World Championships, where she finished eighth. She also took almost four seconds off her PB, lowering it to an English record of 3:56.72.
Calli Thackery: A marathon debut at a low-key race in New York last month saw the 30-year-old run 2:22:11 (chip time) to move into second place on the UK all-time list. She also took the British half-marathon title before placing seventh over the distance at the World Road Running Championships in a PB 68:56.
Jess Warner-Judd: Her year began with a half-marathon run of 67:19, putting her fifth on the UK all-time list. National titles followed with 10,000m victory at Highgate and 5000m in Manchester. The 28-year-old then produced her best ever showing in a global final, coming eighth over 10,000m in Budapest.
International junior male
Roshawn Clarke: In his first senior World Championships, the 19-year-old Jamaican broke the 400m hurdles under-20 world record with 47.34 in his semi and went on to finish fourth in the final.
Jaydon Hibbert: Not long after turning 18 the Jamaican triple jumper set world junior records indoors (17.54m) and outdoors (17.87m) in Los Angeles and later backed it up with a 17.70m jump in qualifying at the World Championships, although he withdrew from the final with injury.
Reynold Kipkorir Cheruiyot: The 19-year-old Kenyan was runner-up in the under-20 race at the World Cross before going on to place eighth in the world 1500m final, ending the season with 1500m and mile bests of 3:30.30 and 3:48.06, the latter a world junior record.
Erriyon Knighton: The American won silver behind Noah Lyles in the 200m at the World Championships in Budapest in addition to taking Diamond League victories in Florence and Oslo plus the US title in Eugene in 19.72.
Niels Laros: When he turned 18 in April he had PBs of 1:50.46 for 800m and 3:39.46 for 1500m, but improved to 1:44.78 in Monaco and a Dutch senior record of 3:31.25 in Budapest when placing 10th in the world final. He set further national records in the mile (3:48.93) and 2000m (4:49.68) and sealed a 1500m and 5000m double at the European U20 Championships.
Emmanuel Wanyonyi: After winning silver in the world 800m final behind Marco Arop, the 19-year-old clocked a world lead of 1:42.80 to win the Diamond League title in Eugene. He was also part of the gold medal-winning Kenyan quartet in the mixed relay at the World Cross.
International junior female
Agate Caune: The Latvian won the European under-20 3000m by 28 seconds and broke the 22-year-old championship 5000m record to win by 47 seconds. Elsewhere she went No.2 on the European junior all-time 3000m rankings and clocked 15:00.48 in a bold front-running effort in the 5000m World Championships heats.
Birke Haylom: Only 17, the Ethiopian won the Dream Mile in Oslo in a world under-20 record of 4:17.13 before going on to place ninth in the world 1500m final in Budapest.
Shawnti Jackson: The daughter of Olympic 400m hurdles medallist Bershawn Jackson, the 18-year-old clocked 10.89 for 100m. It is one of several US high school records that she broke in 2023 with others including the 60m (7.16) and 300m (36.63).
Hana Moll: The world junior pole vault champion from 2022 is still only 18 and she progressed to 4.65m to qualify for the World Championships final, where she finished ninth. Earlier in the season she finished third in the US Championships.
Angelina Topić: A few days after turning 18 the Serbian won the European under-20 high jump title. She placed seventh in the world final in Budapest and jumped a national senior record and world under-20 lead of 1.97m in Paris. In the long jump she managed 6.58m for sixth at the European under-20s.
Audrey Werro: The Swiss 800m runner successfully defended her European under-20 title when winning by more than two seconds. Aged 19, she ended the season with a best of 1:58.13, clocked a world under-20 record for 1000m of 2:34.89 and won her event at the European Team Champs.
British junior male
Michael Allison: The javelin thrower won bronze at the European Under-20 Championships with 72.44m but his biggest mark came at the England U20 Championships with 76.97m to go No.4 on the UK all-time junior rankings. Won senior silver as well at the UK Championships.
Sean Anyaogu: Only third in the 100m at the England Under-20 Championships, the Essex sprinter rose to the occasion at the Europeans in Jerusalem to win bronze in 10.34 (0.6) after a wind-assisted 10.26 to win his heat.
Sammy Ball: The all-rounder from Reading AC improved the 13-year-old UK under-20 decathlon record to 7870 as he won the England Athletics title by more than 1100 points in Manchester in May, although he DNF’d at the European Under-20 Championships due to injury.
Charlie Carvell: The Telford athlete won European under-20 400m silver in 46.08 after earlier clocking 45.92 in his heat. The GB captain in Jerusalem then ran a fine first leg for the gold medal winning 4x400m team. Showed strength with an end-of-season 1:49.75 for 800m, too.
James Dargan: After a Mini London Marathon victory in April, the Surrey athlete went on to win English Schools 1500m and England Athletics 5000m titles before finishing fourth in the 5000m at the European Under-20 Championships in Jerusalem.
Sam Lunt: Clocked 50.89 to finish seventh in the European under-20 400m hurdles final before anchoring the GB team to 4x400m gold. The Wirral athlete took English Schools and England Athletics titles too and clocked 46.94 for 400m flat.
British junior women
Joy Eze: After winning European under-20 100m bronze two years earlier, the Gateshead athlete graduated to gold by taking the title in Jerusalem in 11.39 just ahead of team-mate Renee Regis. Indoors took England under-20 gold and was fourth in the UK Championships 60m final.
Renee Regis: Following in the footsteps of her Olympian parents, she was one hundredth of a second behind GB team-mate Joy Eze in the European under-20 100m final. She ran even quicker in the rounds, too, with 11.36.
Abigail Ives: Became the fourth under-20 British woman in history to break two minutes for 800m with 1:59.92 in May and went on to win silver in the European Under-20 Championships behind Audrey Werro of Switzerland.
Success Eduan: Took UK Indoor Championships 200m victory before going on to win the England title in 23.61 and then bronze in a close 200m final at the European Under-20 Championships in 23.34. At 100m clocked 11.39 to win in Mannheim and was part of the British team (along with Eze and Regis) to win European Under-20 4x100m silver.
Emily Newnham: Fourth in the 400m hurdles at the European Under-20 Championships in 57.02 but ended the summer ranked No.2 in Europe over 400m with 52.15 in addition to No.1 in the UK at 400m and 400m hurdles and No.2 at 200m with 23.27.
Zara Obamakinwa: The Blackheath & Bromley discus thrower broke Eden Francis’s 16-year-old UK under-20 record with 55.99m when winning bronze at the UK Champs in Manchester and went on to captain the GB team at the European Under-20 Champs where she finished fourth.
British masters male
Allan Long (M80): Won world indoor titles in Torun at 60m (UK record 9.36), 200m, the mixed 4x200m and also won a triple jump silver. He set earlier UK records at 200m in Sheffield (31.97) and triple jump (8.15m). Outdoors Long won European gold at 100m and 200m (UK record 31.97), as well as setting a UK triple jump outdoor mark of 7.90m.
Mike Sheridan (M70): The Newbury athlete had just one notable effort during the year but, at the London Marathon, he set an M70 British record of 2:59:13 on chip time. At the age of 73, that made him easily the oldest Brit to ever break three hours.
Guy Dirkin (M70): Some 48 years after setting his 56.70m discus PB in the 1975 AAA Championships, the USA-based athlete won the M70 world title in Torun with a 42.77m throw before winning the European Masters title. In Pescara he also won a silver in the hammer and a bronze in the weight before setting a UK record of 44.79m in Florida in September.
Paul Forbes (M65): Last year’s AW Masters Award winner had an even better season in 2023, winning M65 world indoor gold at 800m and 1500m (UK record 4:43.43) in Poland. Outdoors he won the European title in a world record of 2:13.74 and also won at 1500m. The Edinburgh AC athlete set UK marks at 1500m (4:39.15) and mile (5:08.36), too.
Alastair Walker (M65): Injury meant he only raced up until early May but in that time he set a world M65 record at 3000m (9:57.18), and won a world masters title by two-and-a-half minutes at 10km in a world record 34:18 which he later improved to 34:04.
Mo Farah (M40): In his final year of racing, Britain’s most successful ever athlete in terms of global titles set British M40 records for the half-marathon (62:43) and marathon (2:10:28), both performances coming in London.
British masters female
Jane Horder (W65): The Cheltenham Harrier won a W65 60m, 60m hurdles and 4x200m treble at the World Masters Championships, as well as setting a world indoor hurdles record of 9.98 in Loughborough. She also dominated the Europeans, winning gold in the 80m hurdles, 200m and 300m hurdles and two relays, as well as setting a world 80m hurdles record (13.11).
Virginia Mitchell (W60): Won 400m, 4x200m and 800m gold at the World Masters, her former win a W60 world indoor record of 64.55 while her latter victory saw Mitchell become the first W60 worldwide to break 2:30. Mitchell went on to win 400m and 4x400m gold at the Europeans but, despite a British outdoor record of 2:30.91, she had to settle for 800m silver in Pescara.
Lucy Elliott (W55): The former senior international had her best year yet in a long masters career as she set W55 UK records at 3000m (10:08.58), 10km (36:09) and 10 miles (60:16) and won European masters titles at 1500m (4:54.25), 5000m (18:16.98) and the 8km cross-country.
Susan McDonald (W55): In winning world masters 10k and half-marathon gold in Poland, as well a superb performance at the Berlin Marathon, the prolific racer showed her very best form. In Berlin she equalled her half-marathon PB on her way to a chip time of 2:47:19 to take over seven minutes off her British record and run faster than the recently set W50 record. A few weeks later she won the W55 category at the New York Marathon.
Kirstie Booth (W45): Set a world W45 2000m steeplechase record of 6:50.81 which is 11 seconds faster than her British W40 record. She also won the European title in Italy and ran the second-fastest W45 1500m of all-time (4:35.76).
Zoe Doyle (W45): In her final year in the W40s, Doyle won 800m World Masters silver before moving up an age group in the summer, where she won European W45 gold at 800m (2:14.71) and 1500m (4:58.11). That 800m time was a British record. Two relay medals also followed.
Jonathan Broom-Edwards: In echoes of the Tokyo Olympics where Gianmarco Tamberi and Mutaz Essa Barshim shared the high jump gold medal, Broom-Edwards and Poland’s Maciej Lepiato were declared joint high jump winners at the World Para Athletics Championships. Both cleared 2.07m in the T64 final.
Aled Davies: Despite a hip injury which hampered him throughout the year and competing in the F63 shot put for only the fourth time in 2023, the Paralympic champion won his fifth successive world title in the discipline.
Gavin Drysdale: The Scot won the second world title of his career, landing Britain’s first medal of the championships as he took T72 100m – a discipline also known as frame running – victory in Paris.
Marcel Hug: On the track, the prolific Swiss wheelchair athlete won T54 800m, 1500m and 5000m gold at the World Championships. On the roads, he broke the course records at the Tokyo, Boston, London, and Chicago marathons – as well as winning in Berlin.
Dan Pembroke: In what was just his fourth competition of the year, the Briton threw a European record-breaking distance of 70.50m to land the F13 world javelin title. It completed a full set of major gold medals for the Paralympic and European champion.
Ben Sandilands: On his debut with the British team, the 20-year-old produced a brilliant closing surge to claim T20 1500m gold at the World Para Athletics Championships and underline his potential going into the Paris Paralympics.
Hollie Arnold: The Welsh athlete bounced back from Paralympic disappointment in Tokyo to win her fifth F46 javelin title in a row at the World Para Athletics Championships.
Hannah Cockroft: The 31-year-old began the year by breaking four world records in the space of three days, breaking her own marks at T34 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m. She took her tally of world titles to a remarkable 14 in Paris, winning the T34 100m and T34 800m gold medals in Paris.
Catherine Debrunner: One year on from her wheelchair marathon debut, the Swiss destroyed the women’s wheelchair world record, clocking 1:34:16 in Berlin before also breaking the course record in Chicago and then winning in New York. On the track she took world T53 gold over 400m and 800m, as well as T54 1500m and 5000m gold.
Luca Ekler: The Hungarian was one of the standout stars of the World Championships, winning T38 gold over 200m and 400m – both in world record times – as well as in the T38 long jump. She also took T38 100m silver.
Sabrina Fortune: Another Welsh athlete to retain her world title, the Tokyo Parlympic fifth-placer who is also an animator, artist and cake designer, struck gold again in the F20 shot put.
Sammi Kinghorn: The co-captain for the British team secured her third world title, winning the T53 100m in a championships record-breaking time. She also landed silver medals over 400m, 800m and the universal 4x100m relay.
International mountain, trail and ultra male
Stian Angermund: The Norwegian retained his World Mountain and Trail Championships short trail title and also won the 55km OCC race at the UTMB festival.
Remmi Bonnet: The Swiss ski mountaineer was the overall winner of the prestigious Golden Trail series, as well as enjoying victories in the Marathon de Mont Blanc, Pikes Peak Ascent and Mammoth Trails 26km.
Philemon Kiriago: The 21-year-old showed Kenya’s athletic prowess is not restricted to the track and the roads. He was the overall winner of the World Mountain Running Cup series, as well as taking silver in the classic up and down mountain race at the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships.
Patrick Kipnegeno: Another Kenyan to impress this year, the 30-year-old won the World Mountain and Trail Running Championship uphill race, was second at the renowned Sierre-Zinal mountain race and second overall in the World Mountain Running Cup series.
Aleksander Sorokin: There was just one notable performance from the Lithuanian this year, but it saw him break his own world 100km record by six seconds to 6hr 5min 35sec.
Jim Walmsley: At his fifth attempt, the American became UTMB champion, as well as enjoying notable victories in the Istria 100-mile trail and Côte d’Azur 100km events.
International mountain, trail and ultra female
Courtney Dauwalter: Completing an extraordinary and unprecedented hat-trick, the American won the notorious 100-mile Western States race in a course record-breaking time, followed by the Hardrock 100 and then UTMB.
Camille Herron: Another US athlete doing remarkable things, she broke the course record in winning the 153-mile Spartathlon ultra and broke the world 48-hour record, covering 270.505 miles.
Sophia Laukli: The American flavour to the women’s short list continues thanks to the Sierre Zinal winner who also took top spot in the Pikes Peak Ascent, the Marathon de Mont Blanc and the Golden Trail series.
Andrea Mayr: The Austrian was crowned the uphill only champion on home turf at the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships, the seventh world title of her career.
Grayson Murphy: Came away from the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships as winner of the classic up and down race, as well taking bronze in the uphill classic.
Joyce Njeru: The Kenyan has been a dominant force in the mountains and finished first in this year’s World Mountain Running World Cup series.
British mountain, trail and ultra male
Jon Albon: Landed superb victories in the CCC and at Templiers, as well as managing to finish fifth in the short course event at the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships, helping his country to team gold despite battling an infection during the race.
Robbie Britton: Took down the long-standing British 24-hour record, which had been set by Dave Dowdles back in 1982, with a run of 277.439km.
Tom Evans: Became the first British man to win the renowned Western States 100-mile race in America. Also finished first in the Ultra tour Snowdonia 50km.
Kris Jones: A team gold medallist in the short course event at the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships, coming eighth overall, he was first in the Ultra Trail Snowdonia 25km and Mozart 40km Trail.
Thomas Roach: Took world short course silver as he led his national team to gold, plus also came out on top in the Tour de Tirol and Yorkshire Three Peaks events.
Joe Steward: Finished third overall in the World Mountain Running cup, as well as a fine eighth-place finish in the vertical race at the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships.
British mountain, trail and ultra female
Scout Adkin: The World Mountain and Trail Running Championships team medallist in both the uphill only (where she finished in the top 10) and up and down events was also second overall in the World Mountain Running World Cup series.
Elsey Davis: Enjoyed wins in the Istria 42km Trail, 100km Nice Cote d’Azur Trail, as well as second place in the Eiger Trail 50km and produced a top 20 finish in the short course event at the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships.
Rebecca Flaherty: The runner-up over 3000m at this year’s English Schools Championships became world champion in the junior up and down classic event in Innsbruck-Stubai.
Fiona Pascall: Britain’s leading trail runner when it comes to the longer distances, she produced a top 20 finish in the long trail event at the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships, while she also broke the course record in the Arc of Attrition 50 mile race.
Phillipa Williams: The first British female at Sierre-Zinal came second in the UTMB Festival 15km, as well as winning team medals at both the uphill only and up and down events at the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships.
Sarah Webster: A prolific year saw the 44-year-old break the European 100km road record and become British 100km champion.
Mel Watman performance of the year
This category, name after the late former editor of AW, recognises the exceptional moments of a year to remember. 2023 has left no shortage of contenders
Surely lightning wouldn’t strike twice in the men’s 1500m final at the World Championships? It did. A year on from Jake Wightman delivering a knockout blow to Jakob Ingebrigtsen, his fellow Briton and Edinburgh AC clubmate Josh Kerr left the Norwegian on the canvas – also thanks to an amazing closing 200m which won the top-class middle distance bout.
Kipyegon miles better
Having set world records for the 1500m and 5000m within the space of a week in June, Faith Kipyegon then set her sights on breaking the mark for the Mile at the Monaco Diamond League meeting in July. Charging ahead of the pacing lights she crossed the line in 4:07.64, destroying the mark of 4:12.33 set by Sifan Hassan on the same track four years previously.
In a year like no other for the women’s 5000m, Gudaf Tsegay made sure Faith Kipyegon’s world record mark of 14:05.20 would be short-lived. In Eugene, the world 10,000m champion took almost 12 seconds off her personal best and nearly five seconds off the record with her run of 14:00.21.
With what represented a quantum leap forward in women’s marathon running and powered by her much talked about Adidas footwear, Ethiopia’s Tigist Assefa clocked 2:11:53 in Berlin to lower the world record by almost two minutes.
Kelvin Kiptum announced himself as the likely successor to marathon king Eliud Kipchoge, the 23-year-old taking apart the men’s world record with a run of 2:00:35 to win in Chicago. The fabled two-hour mark in a big city marathon has now very much moved into view.
The men’s Bowerman Mile, staged at the Diamond League Final in Eugene, proved to be a race of exceptional quality. Not only did Jakob Ingebrigtsen break the European record with 3:43.73 – the third-quickest mile ever – but runner-up Yared Nuguse broke the 16-year-old North American record with 3:43.97. Third-placed George Mills went third on the UK all-time rankings with his PB of 3:47.65, while Mario Garcia broke the Spanish record of 3:47.69 and Kenya’s Reynold Cheruiyot clocked a world U20 record of 3:48.06 as 11 of the 13 athletes set PBs.
Mondo Duplantis is no stranger to breaking the men’s pole vault world record. He had done it for the sixth time in his career when took the mark up to 6.22m during an indoor meeting in February. In his last outdoor meeting of the year, the Diamond League final in Eugene, the Swede cleared 6.23m at Hayward Field.
Crouser crushes it
The Olympic and world shot put champion has been setting the standard in his event and obliterated his own world record at the Los Angeles Grand Prix in May. The American produced a huge throw of 23.56m throw to smash his previous best of 23.37m, set at the US Olympic trials in Eugene in 2021.
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