Elaine Thompson-Herah, Sha'Carri Richardson, and the 10 most famous track and field stars of 2023

Elaine Thompson-Herah, Sha'Carri Richardson, and the 10 most famous track and field stars of 2023

Funmilayo Fameso 07:25 - 01.12.2023

Meet the Top 10 most famous track and field stars of 2023.

World fastest woman alive Elaine Thompson-Herah, and world fastest woman this season Sha'Carri Richardson, are two of the most famous track and field stars of 2023.

These ladies kept athletics and non-athletics enthusiasts wrapped in the sport, as their performances on the track and activities off-track kept people talking, and they have the online numbers.

Elaine Thompson-Herah and Sha'Carri Richardson make track and field stars of 2023 list
Sha'Carri Richardson and Elaine Thompson-Herah

Aside from these two, more athletes have made the headlines in their rights, which qualifies them as top stars. Based on performances, influence, numbers, and popularity, here are Pulse Sports Top 10 track and field stars of 2023.

10 - Tobi Amusan

Heading into the 2023 season, Tobi Amusan became one of the top athletes to watch out for after her blazing historic performance at the 2022 World Championships in Oregon, where she became the 100m Hurdles World Record holder and World Champion.

Tobi Amusan is one of track and field's top stars of 2023

Amusan still stayed relevant this year, and despite her rollercoaster season interrupted by an early injury, then her missing test case with the Athletics Integrity Unit (which she was cleared before the start of the World Championships in Budapest), the Nigerian track queen climaxed the season by winning her third consecutive Diamond League title.

Her Diamond League victory proved her the best female hurdler to beat on her good day and one of the stars heading to the Olympic year.

9 - Letsile Tebogo

The Botswana youngster ended the season as unarguably the African male sprinter of the year.

Letsile Tebogo became Africa's first men's 100m medallist at the World Championships in Budapest

Tebogo became his country's and the continent's fastest 200m man in history at the London Diamond League, after he finished second behind Noah Lyles in 19.51s.

He also stamped his name in the history books by winning the 100m silver medal and followed it up with a 200m bronze medal five days later in Budapest, which made him one of the world's best sprinters this year.

8 - Kelvin Kiptum

It took just two races for long-distance runner Kelvin Kiptum to run his way to the spotlight this year.

Kelvin Kiptum became the new marathon World Record holder in Chicago

First, winning the London Marathon with the second-fastest time in history in 2:01:25, and less than six months later, he did the unthinkable by breaking Eliud Kipchoge's WR at the Chicago Marathon, running an incredible 2:00.35 to take 34 seconds off the previous record.

By doing this, the 23-year-old Kenyan became the first man to break the 2:01 barrier. Kiptum's ground-breaking run has already put him in conversations as the face of the marathon in the coming years.

7 - Femke Bol

The Dutch 400m and 400m Hurdles runner tops the European stars list in the women's category.

Bol performed outstandingly on the track by breaking the 500m world indoor best and smashed the world indoor 400m record with a stunning 49.26s run at the Dutch Indoor Championships, taking 0.33s off a record that had stood for 41 years.

Femke Bol shattered the 400m indoor WR at the Dutch Championships

Outdoors, Bol was undefeated in her trademark event - the 400m Hurdles. She will go on to run a world-leading European Record of 51.45s to win her first global title in Budapest and anchor her country to the 4x400m gold medal.

Off track, the 23-year-old has signed lucrative deals and is one of her country's most famous sportspeople.

6 - Mondo Duplantis

As the reigning World Athletics Male Athlete of the Year, Duplantis showed beyond doubt why he may win that title again this season.

Mondo Duplantis dominated the Pole Vault event in 2023

The Swedish superstar pole vaulter improved on his world record indoors and outdoors, successfully defended his world title, and racked up another 20 clearances at 6.00m or higher.

Duplantis also successfully defended his Diamond League title with an improvement on his WR, clearing 6.23m. He has been one of the most consistent athletes for many years, and his relevance will not stop anytime soon.

5 - Elaine Thompson-Herah

When she failed to make the Jamaican individual team to Budapest, not many people gave Thompson-Herah the chance to end the season on a high.

Elaine Thompson-Herah is one of the greatest sprinters in history

Post the world championships, the double Olympic sprints champion has made headlines, first for regaining her form and sprinting her way back to the top five 100m list this year. Secondly, for her change of coach saga, which was the most talked about athletics situation for almost a month.

Thompson-Herah does the numbers and goes viral for whatever she does, making her one of the most engaging and famous track and field stars globally.

4 - Faith Kipyegon

Many athletes cannot boast of running a WR, but having a clutch of WRs in a single season will put you in the limelight and discussion of the Women's Athlete of the Year Award.

Kenya's World Record holder Faith Kipyegon

Kipyegon rode on multiple WRs, first clocking 3:49.11 to take almost a full second off the 1500m WR. Afterward, the Kenyan middle-distance runner ran a new 5000m WR of 14:05.20 (now broken by Gudaf Tsegay), then crushed the mile WR clocking 4:07.64.

With double gold medals in the 1500m and 5000m at the Budapest World Championships, plus her series of WRs and impeccable performances, she ranks highly as one of the star athletes of the year.

3 - Shericka Jackson

In 2023, Shericka Jackson extended her reign as the queen of the 200m event.

Shericka Jackson reveals body and mind is ready to break the 200m World Record in Brussels
Shericka Jackson. Ohoto Credit - Getty Images

The Jamaican went undefeated in the half-lap sprint for the entire year, retained her world title, and crept ever closer to the long-standing 200m WR. Jackson also impressed in the 100m, reducing her PB to a world-leading 10.65s before taking world silver, then adding another silver medal in the 4x100m.

Her 100m rivalry with Sha'Carri Richardson and attempts at breaking the sprints WRs, were the most discussed topics in the 2023 season.

2 - Noah Lyles

As the world's fastest man and triple gold medallist at the world championships in Budapest, Lyles's influence on and off track shook the track and field world this season.

Noah Lyles became a triple world champion at the World Championships in Budapest

In 2023, the American speedster cemented his place as one of the top sprinters of all time. On track, he maintained his position as world 200m leader for the sixth consecutive year and was undefeated in six 200m finals. Further proving his versatility, he also closed the season as the joint world leader in the 100m.

Off-track, the 26-year-old placed athletics in the spotlight making it the center of attention when he made his “World champion of what? statement at the NBA, to which much of the sporting public in America reacted to the comments with outrage and anger - filling broadcast schedules with opinions about why Lyles was wrong.

He became the most talked about and controversial male athlete. Also, becoming increasingly peerless at knowing how to be famous away from the track and transcending the sport.

Now, he can be found at fashion shows collaborating with designers, artists, and musicians, as well as starring in his docuseries designed to peek behind the scenes of the sprinting world.

1 - Sha'Carri Richardson

Writing all about the American sprint star and what makes her the undisputed leader of this list will require a different artcle on it's own.

Sha'Carri Richardson won two gold medals and a bronze medal at the world championships in Budapest

But here are the bullet points to prove her top selection.

  • World 100m champion
  • Joint 100m world-leader with 10.65s
  • Most sub-11s clocking of the season (12)
  • USA Female Athlete of the Year
  • The Dallas City board declared November 10 Sha'Carri Richardson Day
  • Has a track in her name
  • Most famous US track and field athlete
  • Most influential track and field athlete in the world for year 2023
  • Named in Forbes' 30 Under 30 sports list
  • Most talked about and viral athlete in the world