Home > The Scene

Karsten Warholm and Elaine Thompson-Herah named World Athletics Athletes of the Year

Thompson-Herah and Warholm have both had a season of remarkable performances in track and field

World Athletics has announced the winners for the 2021 Athlete of the Year award. Olympic champions Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica and Karsten Warholm of Norway were named the Athletes of the Year at the 2021 World Athletics Awards ceremony, held virtually on Wednesday.

The winners were selected by an international panel of athletics journalists and council representatives from World Athletics, and fans on social media.

Both Thompson-Herah and Warholm have had a season of remarkable performances in track and field at the Olympic Games and one-day meets on the World Athletics circuit.

2021 Prefontaine Classic: Elaine Thompson-Herah Wins the 100 Meter in 10.54. Photo: Pat Holleran/Shannon Digital Imaging

Thompson-Herah ran the second-fastest 100m in history this year, running 10.54 at the Diamond League’s Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore. She also defended her Olympic 100m and 200m titles in Tokyo, adding a third gold medal in the 4x100m relay for Jamaica.

Athing Mu wins the women’s 800m in her Olympic debut, Thompson-Herah gets the double-double

In an interview with World Athletics, Thompson-Herah said, “I just take it year by year. I was very close to the world record, so anything is possible.” She noted that she isn’t planning on hanging up the spikes anytime soon, and hopes to compete at the World Championships next summer in Eugene.

Photo: Instagram/kwarholm

Warholm ran one of the most remarkable performances in recent Olympic history, when he stormed down the final stretch for gold in the 400m hurdles. When he first saw his time, he was in total disbelief. His initial reaction was, “This must be a mistake!” he said to World Athletics.

He also broke the world record at a Diamond League meet in Oslo in the lead-up to the Olympics (46.70). But his race to remember was when Warholm shocked the world to claim gold in stunning fashion, setting a new 400m hurdles world record of 45.94, in what was an Olympic final, where the top three athletes all finished inside the pre-2021 world record of 46.78.

Karsten Warholm to run a straight 400m at Lausanne

The other awards presented were the Rising Star Award, to up-and-coming U.S. track stars Athing Mu and Erriyon Knighton, and the Inspiration Award, to co-high-jumper gold medallists Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy and Mutaz Barshim of Qatar.

Check out the latest buyer's guide:

Running gear deals for the long weekend

The holiday weekend might be long, but these hot deals are only on for a short time