Surprise and Confusion: Noah Lyles on World Athletics' Latest Decision
Surprise and Confusion: Noah Lyles on World Athletics' Latest Decision

“Very shocking,” is how World Sprint double champion Noah Lyles described World Athletics’ decision to revamp the Athletes of the Year Awards. In a groundbreaking move, Lyles, an American sprinter, has been honored as one of the six World Athletes of the Year for 2023, securing the title in the track category.

Joining Noah Lyles in this prestigious group are Mondo Duplantis, who received the field award, and Kelvin Kiptum, for his remarkable out-of-stadia achievements. In a nod to women’s strength, the awards also recognized Faith Kipyegon in the track category, Yulimar Rojas for field, and Tigist Assefa for out-of-stadia success.

This year marked the first time World Athletics implemented this format, shifting from the traditional practice of naming one male and one female Athlete of the Year.

Surprise and Confusion: Noah Lyles on World Athletics’ Latest Decision

The decision, however, left Lyles feeling somewhat let down. When questioned about his feelings upon being named World Athlete of the Year – Track, he responded:

“Not what I expected it to feel like.”

Lyles’ comment momentarily rendered the journalists around him speechless, leading him to inquire, “Anybody else (Any more questions)?”

When asked to clarify his feelings, he explained, “It’s that word ‘track’ that threw me, and I am pretty sure it threw a lot of other people off too. Nobody was prepared for what really happened tonight. I think everybody was caught off guard, especially when we heard all of our names being called one after the other. It was a little confusing in the moment, understanding what was really happening.”

A visibly disappointed Lyles requested a few weeks to digest and further comment on the event. “On the one hand, I agree with the idea; I just wish we had known this was going to happen.”
“I’m confused as to why we had 10 athletes in the beginning, all in different categories, yet we were all led to believe we were competing for the same trophy. So, again, very shocking.”


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