Feature18 Oct 2022

World Athlete of the Year 2022 – spotlight on the men’s nominees


Nominees for the men's World Athlete of the Year 2022 award

The leading athletes of 2022 will be crowned later this year at the World Athletics Awards 2022.

Following last week’s announcement of the 10 nominees for the Men's World Athlete of the Year 2022, we take a closer look at their seasons.


Kristjan Ceh (SLO)

Building on his 2021 breakthrough, Slovenian discus thrower Kristjan Ceh launched himself into the spotlight in 2022.

The 23-year-old won 19 of his 21 competitions, including at the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 where he threw 71.13m to improve the championship record by almost a metre.

Ceh went on to become the first man to throw beyond 71 metres in three competitions within one season, adding a 71.23m win in Szekesfehervar to his Oregon mark and the 71.27m national record he recorded at the Diamond League meeting in Birmingham in May.

A silver medal at the European Championships in Munich followed, before another win at the Weltklasse meeting in Zurich to secure the Diamond League title.


Alison dos Santos (BRA)

Alison dos Santos was the undisputed No.1 in the men’s 400m hurdles in 2022.

Undefeated in all of his 400m hurdles races, one of those wins came at the World Championships in Oregon where the 22-year-old set a South American record of 46.29, the third-fastest time in history.

He broke 47 seconds three times throughout the year, a record number for one season, and achieved six of the 10 fastest times of 2022.

The victory by Dos Santos in Oregon saw him become the first South American to ever win a medal in the event at the World Championships and he later added the Diamond League title to his CV, clocking 46.98 to win in Zurich.


Mondo Duplantis (SWE)

Swedish pole vault star Mondo Duplantis improved the world record three times in 2022, clearing 6.19m and 6.20m indoors, and then 6.21m outdoors.

After his four career world records set indoors, that 6.21m was the first time he had broken it outdoors. Prior to that, the last time an outdoor performance led to a world record was when Sergey Bubka soared over 6.14m in July 1994, more than five years before Duplantis was even born.

The 22-year-old now has more six-metre clearances than any other pole vaulter in history and he won 18 of his 19 competitions in 2022, vaulting 6.00m or higher in 15 of them.

Those wins included the World Championships, World Indoor Championships, European Championships and Diamond League Final.


Soufiane El Bakkali (MAR)

Morocco’s Soufiane El Bakkali is another athlete who remained unbeaten in 2022, with 3000m steeplechase wins at the World Championships and Diamond League Final among his achievements.

After winning the Olympic title in Tokyo last year, El Bakkali gained another global gold in Oregon and completed the set of World Championships medals following his silver claimed in London in 2017 and bronze from Doha in 2019.

He also ran the fastest time in the world this year, clocking 7:58.28 in Rabat.

El Bakkali’s success wasn’t limited to the 3000m steeplechase, either, as the 26-year-old also set an African best in the 2000m steeplechase, clocking 5:14.06 to end his season on a high in Zagreb.


Grant Holloway (USA)

In another busy year, US hurdler Grant Holloway gained another two global gold medals and equalled his own world indoor record.

Starting his campaign in New York, Holloway clocked 7.37 and that would prove to be one of five 60m hurdles races in which he dipped under 7.40, topped by the world record-equalling 7.29 he ran in the semifinals at the World Indoor Championships.

He followed that up with 7.39 to take the title in Belgrade and ended the season with eight of the 10 fastest times.

He picked up from where he left off in the outdoor season, retaining his world 110m hurdles title and becoming the Diamond League 110m hurdles champion. 


Jakob Ingebrigtsen (NOR)

Another athlete to impress both indoors and outdoors was Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who broke the world indoor 1500m record and went on to win a world title outdoors.

The 22-year-old Norwegian clocked 3:30.60 in Lievin in February to take almost half a second off the previous world record that had been set by Samuel Tefera in 2019. A month later, Ingebrigtsen secured silver behind Tefera at the World Indoor Championships.

He would also claim silver in the 1500m at the World Championships in Oregon but went one better in the 5000m, getting gold.

Ingebrigtsen followed that with a winning 1500m and 5000m double at the European Championships and then became the Diamond League 1500m champion with a world-leading 3:29.02 in Zurich.


Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) 

“A very good race” is what Eliud Kipchoge hoped for on his return to the BMW Berlin Marathon, scene of his 2:01:39 world record set in 2018. The Kenyan certainly achieved it, taking half a minute off that mark with a 2:01:09 run in the German capital.

The 37-year-old also won the Tokyo Marathon in 2:02:40 in March and has now triumphed in 15 of his 17 career marathons.

In Berlin he went out hard and was well inside a projected two-hour finish through half way, clocking 59:50. Although his pace started to drop slightly, Kipchoge always remained on world record schedule and eventually won the race by almost five minutes. 


Noah Lyles (USA)

Not only was Noah Lyles undefeated over 200m this year, he also broke 20 seconds in all 12 of his races over the distance, including in heats and finals.

The 25-year-old broke Michael Johnson’s long-standing US record to win his world 200m title in Oregon, his time of 19.31 also moving him to third on the world all-time list. That led a US medal sweep in the event.

Lyles then formed part of USA’s silver medal-winning 4x100m team in Oregon and went on to win the Diamond League title – his fourth career Diamond Trophy in the 200m and fifth overall.

Anderson Peters (GRN)

Despite never having thrown beyond 90 metres before this year, Grenadian javelin ace Anderson Peters managed to surpass that barrier seven times in 2022.

Those performances were led by the world-leading Caribbean record of 93.07m the 24-year-old achieved in Doha, a mark that moved him to fifth on the world all-time list.

He then retained his world title, throwing over 90 metres again with 90.54m in Oregon.

Returning to competition at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, he ended his season with a silver medal win in Birmingham, throwing 88.64m. 


Pedro Pichardo (POR)

Portugal’s Pedro Pichardo went to Oregon on the hunt for his first world title and, after silver medals at both the 2013 and 2015 World Championships as well as at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade earlier in the year, the 29-year-old achieved it.

His winning series in Oregon included the two best jumps of the year, 17.95m and 17.92m, as he added world gold to the Olympic title he claimed in Tokyo.

More success was to come at the European Championships in Munich, where he jumped 17.50m to win, and he ended his season with a second-place finish at the Diamond League Final in Zurich.