Argentine FIFA World Cup winner Lionel Messi; and Barcelona midfielder Alexia Putellas have been named AIPS Male and Female Athletes of the Year for 2022. Putellas has won the Women’s Ballon d’Or back-to-back.
By establishing himself as one of the most prominent champions of all time in sports, Messi scooped the first place with 962 points, to beat Swedish pole vault star Armand Duplantis with 373 points, and French footballer Kylian Mbappé who pulled 366 points.
A panel of 420 journalists from 113 countries voted to decide the best athletes, with Nigeria’s world 100 metres hurdles champion and record holder Tobi Amusan coming up in the 21st position in the list of Top 30 athletes having recorded 61 votes in the female category.
The 25-year-old had a fantastic year, becoming the first Nigerian world champion in athletics, when she won the 2022 World Championships women’s 100 metres hurdles gold, setting the current world record of 12.12 seconds in the semi-finals, followed up by a 12.06 seconds in the final.
She also won gold at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, before retaining her Diamond League Trophy in Zurich in a new meet record of 12.29 seconds. The previous record, which stood for 22 years, was held by an American legend, Gail Devers.
Following her superb performances in 2022, Amusan made the list of the Top 5 best female athletes in 2022 and also made the shortlist of five finalists for the Women’s World Athlete of The Year Award.
Putellas placed second in the 2021 edition of the AIPS Best Female Athlete and scooped first place this time around with a total amount of 452 points. American swimmer Katie Ledecky came second with 295 points, while Venezuelan Yulimar Rojas was in third place with 243 points.