Thompson-Herah and Warholm named World Athletes of the Year

By Sports Desk December 01, 2021

Olympic champions Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica and Karsten Warholm of Norway have been named the World Athletes of the Year at the World Athletics Awards 2021, a ceremony held virtually on Wednesday.

Thompson-Herah produced one of the finest sprint seasons in history this year, retaining her Olympic 100m and 200m titles in Tokyo and adding a third gold medal in the 4x100m relay. On top of her Olympic triple, she also clocked world-leading times of 10.54 and 21.53 over 100m and 200m respectively, moving to second on the world all-time lists and coming within touching distance of the long-standing world records.

“I just take it year by year,” said Thompson-Herah. “I went very close to the world record so you know, anything is possible. No spikes hanging up any time soon!
“The World Championships in Oregon is most definitely my next big target,” she added. “It is close to home, I hope friends and family can come out and watch. I hope I get some crowd as well. That couldn’t happen in Tokyo but hopefully, in Eugene,I can get my friends and family to come and cheer me on.”

Warholm uncorked one of the most remarkable performances in athletics history when he stormed to gold in the 400m hurdles at the Tokyo Olympics. Having already broken the world record with 46.70 in Oslo in the lead-up to the Games, Warholm exceeded all expectations in the Japanese capital to claim gold in a stunning world record of 45.94. In a race of incredible depth, the top three athletes finished inside the pre-2021 world record.

“I’m so happy for this,” said Warholm. “First when I saw the time (in Tokyo), I was like, ‘This must be a mistake!’ Because I didn’t see that one coming. And I didn’t see the victory coming before crossing the finish line.

“It was a very intense race, I knew the American and the Brazilian and all the other guys were really chasing me. I always go out hard and I never know what is going on behind me. I was just fighting all the way to the finish line. When I realised 45.94 was the reality, I was thinking: ‘This is not too bad. I’ll take it!’"

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe congratulated all of tonight’s winners and finalists on their extraordinary achievements this year.
"We have this year celebrated some jaw-dropping performances in Tokyo, at the World Athletics U20 Championships in Nairobi and through our one-day meeting circuits – the Wanda Diamond League and the Continental Tour. So we’re delighted to recognise some of our stars at tonight’s awards.

"As a sport, we are in an incredibly strong position. 2021 has been an excellent year. We cemented our position as the number 1 Olympic sport coming out of Tokyo, we have the most God-given talented athletes on the planet and our sport is the most accessible of all sports. Thank you to all our athletes around the world. I am looking forward to watching what you can all do in 2022."


The other award winners were:

Female Rising Star
Athing Mu
The US teenager was undefeated at 800m all year, winning Olympic gold at the distance following a long but successful collegiate season. She broke the senior US 800m record with her triumph in Tokyo and then improved it to 1:55.04 just a few weeks later. She also excelled at 400m, clocking a North American U20 record of 49.57 for the distance.
“It means the world to know that my support goes beyond friends and families and extends worldwide,” said Mu. “This award shows all young girls that your dreams can, indeed, come true."

Male Rising Star
Erriyon Knighton
Throughout 2021 the 17-year-old took down several marks that had belonged to sprint legend Usain Bolt. Knighton first set world U18 bests of 20.11 and 20.04 over 200m, but his rapid rise continued and he broke Bolt’s world U20 record for the distance with 19.88 and 19.84. He went on to finish fourth in the Olympic final with 19.93.
“I’m really thankful for this award,” said Knighton. “One of my most memorable moments of this year was making it to the Olympic final in Tokyo and finishing fourth at the age of 17.”

Member Federations Award
Federacion Costarricense de Atletismo (Costa Rica)
In recognition for their outstanding training, competition and development programme roll-out over the past 12 months, for their consultative work on the World Athletics Kids’ Athletics programme, and for successfully staging a host of international events over the past year.

Inspiration Award
Mutaz Barshim and Gianmarco Tamberi
The shared high jump victory between Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi became one of the biggest talking points of the Olympic Games – not only for everything it represented in their own individual careers, having both battled serious injuries since the last Games, but mainly for the act of respect and sportsmanship between two friends.
“It is just crazy if I think about this story,” said Tamberi. “Thank you very much for this trophy.
“I now call Mutaz like five times a week because I need to speak with him. I feel that now we are not just friends, we are really like blood brothers.”
Barshim added: “I hope to inspire more people to love our sport and maybe share a gold one day!”

President’s Award
Peter Diamond, Executive Vice President of NBC Olympic programming
“Athletics owes Peter a massive debt of gratitude,” said World Athletics President Sebastian Coe. “Peter has worked alongside us for effectively 40 years and has been a constant source of great advice and wise counsel, and occasional humour that has softened the edges of any particular situation. And he has made athletics a lot better.”

Coaching Achievement Award
Bobby Kersee
The US coach has guided the careers of many legendary athletes over the years, but this year two of his charges made history. Allyson Felix became the most decorated female track and field Olympian in history after winning her 10th and 11th Olympic gold medals in Tokyo, while training partner Sydney McLaughlin broke two world records in the 400m hurdles and claimed Olympic gold in the discipline.

Woman of the Year Award
Anju Bobby George
The former international long jump star from India is still actively involved in the sport. In 2016 she opened a training academy for young girls, which has already helped to produce a world U20 medallist. A constant voice for gender equality in her role as Senior Vice President of the Indian Athletics Federation, Bobby George also mentors schoolgirls for future leadership positions within the sport.

Jean-Pierre Durand World Athletics Photograph of the Year
Ryan Pierse’s photograph of the women’s high jump qualifying at the Tokyo Olympic Games

 

This year’s award is dedicated to the memory of Jean-Pierre Durand, one of the sport’s most prolific photographers and photo chief for a number of World Athletics Series events, who died in October.
“This winning image was taken on one of the morning sessions in Tokyo and it was a hot one,” said Pierse, who is from Australia. “I wanted to illustrate the heat and how it was affecting the athletes. It is a picture that I worked on for a while, and it all came together. I am really happy with it.
“I think it’s incredibly fitting that this award is named in memory of Jean-Pierre Durand,” added Pierse. “I had the pleasure of working alongside him, most recently at the Tokyo Olympics.”

________________________________________

Related items

  • Parchment, Thompson-Herah named Jamaica's Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year for 2021 Parchment, Thompson-Herah named Jamaica's Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year for 2021

    Sprinter Elaine Thompson-Herah and sprint hurdler, Hansle Parchment, were named Jamaica’s National Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year for 2021, at the RJRGleaner Sports Foundation National Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year awards ceremony held on Friday night.

    The event was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Thompson-Herah had a phenomenal 2021 season, which included her winning the 100m at the Diamond League final in Zurich and running 10.54 at the Eugene Diamond League to become the fastest woman alive and second fastest woman of all time.

    Her greatest achievement in 2021, however, would have to be when she became the first woman in history to win the sprint double at consecutive Olympic Games.

    Backing up her exploits from Rio in 2016, Thompson-Herah produced times of 10.61 and 21.53 to win gold medals in both the 100m and 200m at the Tokyo Olympics, in addition to being a part of Jamaica’s 4x100m relay team, alongside Briana Williams, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who finished as runner-up for the Sportswoman of the Year award, and Shericka Jackson, that won the gold medal in a national record 41.02.

    Parchment shocked the world to win gold in the Men’s 110m Hurdles in Tokyo, nine years after his bronze medal performance at the London Olympics.

    He ran 13.04 to win gold in Tokyo ahead of prohibitive favourite Grant Holloway of the USA.

    The past student of Morant Bay High and Kingston College was also third at the Diamond League final in Zurich.

    His teammate Ronald Levy, who was the runner-up for the Sportsman of the Year Award, took home the bronze medal in Tokyo.

    Other major awards given out on the day include the Chairman's Award to veteran journalist Lance Whittaker; the People's Choice "Performance of the Year Award" to Fraser McConnell; the VM Group Y.O.U.T.H Award to sprinter Tina Clayton and the Gleaner Newspaper Iconic Award to Michael Holding.

  • Rumour Has It: Traore could leave Wolves for Barcelona or Tottenham Rumour Has It: Traore could leave Wolves for Barcelona or Tottenham

    Barcelona remain determined to strengthen their squad despite financial constraints and could be ready to move for Adama Traore.

    It appears the Wolves winger may be sold this month as Bruno Lage's men have already secured a potential replacement.

    Any Barca deal would be complicated by interest from Tottenham, however – assuming they are prepared to match Wolves' demands.


    TOP STORY – TOTTENHAM, BARCELONA ON ALERT AS WOLVES READY TO SELL TRAORE

    Adama Traore could leave Wolves in January, and Barcelona and Tottenham are both interested in the winger, according to the Daily Star.

    Wolves have previously insisted they want to keep the Spain international, but Monday's signing of Portugal Under-21s international Chiquinho could open the door for Traore's exit.

    Spurs are keen but their proposed loan until the end of the season is not something Bruno Lage's side are prepared to accept, as they are holding out for a £25million sale.

    Barca have been linked with the 25-year-old but they must be careful of their spending due to their financial problems.


    ROUND-UP

    Barcelona are determined to bring in a striker this month and Alvaro Morata remains the top target, according to Marca. However, negotiations with Juventus have proved difficult.

    – It appears Dusan Vlahovic may not be leaving Fiorentina yet after all. Gianluca Di Marzio reports the Arsenal and Juventus target will be kept until the end of the season.

    Manchester United have turned their attention to signing John McGinn from Aston Villa, but not until the close-season, the Telegraph says.

    – Meanwhile, United striker Anthony Martial does not want to join another English club, leaving BarcaJuventus and Sevilla as his main options, Fabrizio Romano reports.

    – Newcastle United's bid to sign a new centre-back took a blow as Monaco rejected their £33.4m (€40m) bid for Benoit Badiashile, L'Equipe claims.

    – A striker is also on Newcastle's shopping list and they have launched a £25m (€30m) offer for Atalanta's Duvan Zapata, the Daily Record says.

  • Winning starts for Nelson, Distin Winning starts for Nelson, Distin

    Jamaica and Oregon sprinter, Kemba Nelson, picked up where she left off last season with a narrow win in the women’s 60m at the Cougar Classic Invitational in Spokane.

    The reigning NCAA champion only narrowly got the better of Double Pillar Athletics sprinter Destiny Smith-Barnett.  In fact, both athletes were given the same time of 7.19 after crossing the line but it was Nelson who had the better time when the photo finish was used.  Oregon’s Jadyn Mays was third in 7.27. 

    Elsewhere jumper Lamara Distin, a sophomore at Texas A&M, cleared an indoor personal-best 1.88m to win the women’s high jump at the two-day Ted Nelson Invitational.  Nissi Kabongo of Stephen Austin recorded the second-best mark with 1.85m, while Texas’ Allyson Andress was third with 1.73.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.