Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone and Mondo Duplantis, the athletes who set new world records, were named World Athletics Athletes of the Year on Monday, adding another accolade to an incredible 2022 for both athletes.
American McLaughlin-Levrone, 23, has broken the world record in the 400m hurdles twice this year, most recently by finishing in 50.68 seconds at the world championships this summer. He broke the previous record by 0.73 seconds to win the world title after winning Olympic gold the year before, when he also set a new mark.
In May McLaughlin-Levrone married Andre Levrone Jr., a former University of Virginia wide receiver who spent three seasons in the NFL.
“It’s definitely helped me be better on and off the track,” admitted McLaughlin-Leverone in a telephone interview with The Associated Press after the ceremony in Monaco. “It’s definitely been a blessing.”
He indicated that he is still considering whether to change the test to 400m dash or 100m hurdles.
“Obviously the 400m hurdles are great and there is still work to be done,” he said. “Probably when 2023 comes, in January, we will see what we are doing and what we will do.”
Duplantis set indoor and outdoor world records in the pole vault this year. He went over 6.2m indoors at the World Cup. His best mark is 6.21m, which he set in the last jump outside the World Championships this summer.
He admitted that he never expected to be looking for a big brand in Eugene, Oregon that day.
“The way it was set up, where he was putting on the show and breaking records at the world championships, it’s a moment you dream about,” Duplantis said.
The Rising Star award went to Serbia’s Adriana Vilagos, who defended her under-20 title in the javelin throw, and American sprinter Ariane Knighton, who received the award for the second year in a row.