Kenyan runner Hellen Obiri won the 128th Boston Marathon on Monday, becoming the first woman to claim back-to-back titles since 2005.

She clocked a total time of 2 hours, 27 minutes, and 37 seconds in a women's division that race organizers described as "historically fast."

"Defending the title was not easy," Obiri said. "Since Boston started, it's only six women [that have repeated]. If you want to be one of them, you have to work extra hard. And I'm so happy because I'm now one of them — I'm now in the history books."

A two-time Olympic silver medalist and two-time 5000m world champion, Obiri is a clear favorite in this summer’s Paris Olympics.

“Last year I was pretty familiar to the marathon, but this year my training was perfect — we trusted everything we were doing,” Obiri said. “When we won last year, of course I was saying I’m going to win this one. Winning is like love. It’s something precious to me.”

Though, she wasn’t without a challenge. Fellow Kenyan Sharon Lokedi finished a mere eight seconds behind Obiri. Edna Kiplagat, who won the 2017 Boston Marathon, completed the podium sweep for Kenya with a third place finish.

Emma Bates, the race's top American finisher, came in 12th.

Obiri wasn't alone in making Boston Marathon history this year. The repeat champ walked away with $150,000 in total prize money allocated from a purse that topped $1 million for the first time ever. 

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce will run in her final Olympics, telling Essence that she plans to retire after the Paris Games this summer.

The three-time Olympic champion sprinter said that she owes it to her family to “do something else.”

“My son needs me. My husband and I have been together since before I won in 2008. He has sacrificed for me,” the 37-year-old Fraser-Pryce told “We’re a partnership, a team, and it’s because of that support that I’m able to do the things that I have been doing for all these years. I think I now owe it to them to do something else.”

Fraser-Pryce won her first gold medal in Beijing 2008, becoming the first Caribbean woman to win gold in the women’s 100 meters.

She then retained her title at the London 2012 Olympics, and won bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics. She won another Olympic silver and relay gold at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021.

In 2019, she became the oldest woman to claim a world championship in the 100 meters in Doha. She then won again in 2022 in Eugene, Oregon. In total, she’s won 10 world championships gold medals, including six individual championships.

After finishing third at worlds last year, the Jamaican sprinter is focused on preparing for Paris, where she says she wants to “finish on my own terms.”

“It’s not enough that we step on a track and we win medals,” Fraser-Pryce said. “You have to think about the next generation that’s coming after you and give them the opportunity to also dream — and dream big.”

A number of women’s sports stars have made this year’s Forbes “30 Under 30” list, including Sophia Smith and Angel Reese.

Forbes features 30 people who are changing the game in sports, including Smith, who helped lead the U.S. women’s national team in the 2023 World Cup. Despite a disappointing finish at the tournament, the 23-year-old forward represents the future of the national team, and she also won the NWSL Golden Boot with 11 goals for the Portland Thorns.

Reese led the LSU basketball team to its first national title in April 2023. The Most Outstanding Player of the 2023 Final Four, the 21-year-old’s national profile skyrocketed, and she has endorsement deals with Reebok, Coach and more. While Reese is off to a rocky start to the new season, including an unexplained four-game absence, she remains among the biggest stars in the college game.

Other honorees from the world of women’s sports include:

  • Napheesa Collier, 27, Minnesota Lynx forward
  • Jessica Pegula, 29, tennis player
  • Kate Douglass, 22, Team USA swimmer
  • Sha’Carri Richardson, Team USA sprinter
  • Olivia Dunne, 21, LSU gymnast
  • Diana Flores, 26, flag football quarterback
  • Maddie Musselman, 25, Team USA water polo player

Several more names included on the list come from the business side of women’s sports, including Robyn Brown, who is the senior manager of brand and content strategy for the Phoenix Mercury, and Natalie White, who founded women’s basketball shoe brand Moolah Kicks.

Sha’Carri Richardson has had a track season to remember.

Earlier this year, she won the U.S. title in the 100-meter dash, then declared to the world: “I’m not back, I’m better.” And better she has been.

She ran two personal bests this season and won the 100 at the 2023 World Track and Field championships in Budapest last month. She also led the U.S. to gold in the 4×100 relay at the same event while finishing with a bronze medal in the 200.

Through it all Richardson, who was absent from the Tokyo Olympics due to a positive drug test, has remained joyous. That has been evident, even as she finished fourth in the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene over the weekend. She said Saturday that she’s “fallen back in love with my sport” over the last year while sporting her natural hair, something she said she had to do after winning the world title in the 100.

“My coach, I told him that if I went 10.6 I would wear my natural hair,” she told NBC. “When I became the world champion and set a championship record I ran a 10.65, so I had to pull out the natural.”

She also elaborated on how she’s fallen back in love with the track.

“I feel like for a while, I saw this sport more as a job than the love I knew I had for it,” she said. “I’m just whole all over again.”

And despite finishing fourth on Saturday, behind champion Shericka Jackson of Jamaica, Richardson said that she felt “amazing” about her performance.

“All of the women who placed above me are literally legends, and I give them the utmost respect,” she said. “There is no (bad) race anytime we line up, we have to bring our A games every time. I love racing against those women, they bring out the best in me. And I’m looking forward to competing with these ladies at their fullest health and their fullest happiness next year for the Olympics.”

“I’m having so much more fun, and I want people to understand it is not just because of winning,” she continued. “I’m having fun because I’m better within my spirit, within my mind, within my community that I created for myself. That’s the happiness that you guys see. The wins are just the bonus, but it shows when you’re whole within yourself what you will attract.”

The next year will be a big one, with the Paris Olympics just 10 months away. But Richardson is approaching it “as determined as I can be” while also maintaining her happiness.

“Knowing that everyone is going to bring their A game, it just makes me want to bring my best as well,” she said. “The goal for the 200 next year, there are so many great ladies in the 200, the second fastest woman in the world ever (Jackson) runs it now, so I’ve definitely gotta bring my A game lining up against her and all the ladies.

“I’m not one of those who just wins the 100. I’m a 100 and 200 runner and I want you guys to see that, and I want to bring that out. I can’t wait for next year. … The best is yet to come. I’m only 23, so just wait and see.”

After winning the women’s 100m at USATF Nationals, Sha’Carri Richardson repeated a line that has guided her 2023 season: “I’m not back. I’m better.”

By winning the race at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, Richardson earned a spot at August’s World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, which will be her first major global championship. (Video of Richardson’s 100m win is embedded below.)

Richardson burst onto the scene in 2019 when set broke the 100m collegiate record at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships. She turned pro days later, but went on to place eighth at USATF Nationals, missing that year’s world championships.

Two years later, Richardson entered the 2021 season looking like the Olympic favorite. She won the women’s 100m at U.S. Olympic Trials, but that result was voided — and her Olympic spot revoked — after she tested positive for marijuana (which is banned in-competition).

Richardson struggled in 2022, missing out again on world championships after she was eliminated in the first round of the 100m at USATF Nationals. The Texas native later said she was dealing with injury.

But 2023 has been Richardson’s year. She opened the outdoor season by beating a stacked field — including five-time Olympic medalist Shericka Jackson of Jamaica and two-time Olympic medalist Dina Asher-Smith of Great Britain — to claim her first Diamond League win.

“I found my peace back on the track, and I’m not letting anything or anybody take that anymore,” Richardson said then.

During the preliminary round of the 100m in Eugene, Richardson clocked 10.71 — a new personal best and the fastest time by an American woman in 12 years. Only Jackson (10.65) has run faster this year.

While Richardson didn’t have the best start in the 100m final, she made up for it with a fierce kick, outsprinting Brittany Brown and Tamari Davis, who will also make their world championship debuts in Budapest. Richardson also has a chance to qualify for August’s World Championships in the 200m; she posted the fastest time in the preliminary round. The women’s 200m semifinals and final are on Sunday night.

Over the weekend, Richardson also took to Twitter to blast coverage of USATF Nationals and streaming issues on USATF.TV. She went on to call out FloTrack after the outlet tweeted “That’s how we do it!” about her 100m win.

Richardson replied with a GIF of Eddie Murphy from the 1999 movie Life: “We?!”

Allyson Felix is speaking out about the death of her U.S. Olympic teammate Tori Bowie from complications of childbirth.

For Felix, Bowie’s death highlights the urgent need for better maternal health care for Black women.

“I hate that it takes Tori’s situation to put this back on the map and to get people to pay attention to it. But oftentimes, we need that wake-up call,” Felix said in a first-person essay for Time magazine.

Bowie was approximately eight months pregnant and in labor when she died, according to an autopsy report. Possible complications contributing to her death may have included respiratory distress and eclampsia.

In her Time essay, Felix details her own childbirth experience, including how she developed preeclampsia while pregnant with her daughter and required an emergency C-section.

“I was unsure if I was going to make it. If I was ever going to hold my precious daughter,” she wrote. While she had developed swelling in her feet, which is a sign of preeclampsia, Felix had no idea what to watch for, she wrote.

Eclampsia is characterized by one or more seizures during pregnancy or during the postpartum period, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The condition develops from preeclampsia, which causes pregnant women to suddenly develop high blood pressure and other complications.

Studies have found that American-born Black women have a higher risk for developing preeclampsia. According to the CDC, the maternal death rate for Black women in the United States in 2021 was 69.9 deaths per 100,000 births, which is 2.6 times higher than the rate of maternal death among white women.

“Like so many Black women, I was unaware of the risks I faced while pregnant,” Felix wrote. “Not once did someone say, ‘oh, well, that’s one of the indicators of preeclampsia.’ None of us knew. When I became pregnant, my doctor didn’t sit me down and tell me, ‘these are things that you should look for in your pregnancy, because you are at a greater risk to experience these complications.’”

And Felix isn’t the only one. Beyoncé developed preeclampsia during pregnancy. In giving birth to daughter Olympia, Serena Williams developed near-death complications, including blood clots in her lungs. And another Olympic teammate of both Bowie and Felix’s, Tianna Madison, went into labor early and delivered at 26 weeks.

“As of June 2023…3 of the 4 members of Team USA’s 4x100m relay team…who ran the SECOND fastest time in history, and brought home THEE gold medal…have nearly died or did die in childbirth,” Madison wrote on Twitter. “We deserve better. #BlackMaternalHealthCrisis”

The lack of education, Felix wrote, “needs to change now, especially in light of Tori’s tragic passing.”

“The medical community must do its part,” she wrote. “There are so many stories of women dying who haven’t been heard. Doctors really need to hear the pain of Black women.”

There have been steps toward change. In May, legislation titled the Momnibus Act was introduced in Congress. A package of 13 bills, it was crafted to “eliminate racial disparities in maternal health and improve outcomes across the board.” Back in 2021, California passed similar legislation, which makes investments in areas including housing, nutrition and transportation for underserved communities. Pharmaceutical companies are also looking into early detection and treatment of preeclampsia.

Still, while Felix would love to have another child, she is concerned about being alive to raise it amid what she calls a “Black Maternal Health crisis.”

“This is America, in 2023, and Black women are dying while giving birth. It’s absurd,” she wrote. “I’m hopeful that things can get better. I’m hopeful that Tori, who stood on the podium at Rio, gold around her neck and sweetness in her soul, won’t die in vain.”

World champion sprinter and three-time Olympic medalist Tori Bowie died from childbirth complications while in labor, according to an autopsy report.

Her agent Kimberly Holland confirmed the findings of the report from the Orange County Medical Examiner Office, which was obtained by multiple news outlets. Bowie had a “well developed fetus” and was estimated to be eight months pregnant at the time of her death in May, per the report.

Bowie’s complications may have included respiratory distress and eclampsia, a condition in which a person can develop seizures or go into a coma during pregnancy following a sudden spike in high blood pressure, per the report.

“Eclampsia typically occurs after the 20th week of pregnancy. It’s rare and affects less than 3% of people with preeclampsia. Eclampsia can cause complications during pregnancy and requires emergency medical care,” according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Studies have shown that Black women in the United States have a greater risk of preeclampsia. Allyson Felix, an Olympic teammate of Bowie’s, had to undergo an emergency C-section due to severe preeclampsia.

Star tennis player Serena Williams also had pregnancy complications. She had to have a C-section with daughter Olympia after developing blood clots in her lungs and a hematoma in her abdomen.

“In the U.S., Black women are nearly three times more likely to die during or after childbirth than their white counterparts,” Williams wrote in a first-person essay for Elle. “Many of these deaths are considered by experts to be preventable.”

Bowie was found dead in her home on May 2 after Orange County Sheriff deputies conducted a welfare check following reports that a woman in her early 30s “had not been seen or heard from in several days.” The medical examiner ruled her manner of death as natural.

“We’ve lost a client, dear friend, daughter and sister,” Icon Management, which represented Bowie, said in a Twitter statement. “Tori was a champion…a beacon of light that shined so bright! We’re truly heartbroken and our prayers are with the family and friends.”

A program provided at Bowie’s funeral service on May 13 said she was preceded in death by a daughter, according to the New York Times. An official at the Orange County medical examiner’s office confirmed a “baby Bowie” but declined to provide further information.

Holland told the New York Times that Bowie had “backed away” in recent years.

“But she always found her way back because of the bond we had,” she said, noting that Bowie had been excited about the pregnancy. She had made plans to go to Atlanta so that Holland could help her raise the baby.

“It was one of the best conversations we’ve had in a long time,” Holland said Monday. “We just giggled like schoolgirls, we laughed so hard my stomach was hurting.”

A member of Team USA, Bowie won gold at the 2016 Olympics as a member of the 4×100-meter relay team. She also won silver in the 100 and bronze in the 200 at those Games. In 2017, she added another relay gold at the World Athletics Championships, and she won individual gold in the 100.

Entering Friday’s Florence Diamond League meet, Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon was already considered the best women’s 1500-meter runner in history. She won back-to-back Olympic gold medals in the event in 2016 and 2021, plus world titles in 2017 and 2022.

But the 29-year-old Kenyan solidified her G.O.A.T. status by clocking 3 minutes, 49.11 seconds to take nearly a second off the women’s 1500m world record. The previous mark, set by Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba in 2015, was 3:50.07.

“This was really important because this was something I was still missing in my career,” Kipyegon said. “Getting this, it will really motivate me. I left the legacy for the next generation – they can say she broke the world record, she was the Olympic and the world champion.”

Kipyegon is one of the most well-respected track and field athletes currently competing — and it showed on Friday. All of her competitors — including 2021 Olympic silver medalist Laura Muir — gathered around her to celebrate the accomplishment.


(Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)

After the race, Kipyegon — who gave birth to daughter Alyn in June 2018 — dedicated her world record to “all the mothers.”

The world record was on Kipyegon’s mind entering Florence. Unlike at the Olympics and world championships, Diamond League races use pacers who help facilitate fast marks.

“After 1000 (meters), when the pacemaker went out, I just pushed myself towards the finish line,” Kipyegon said. “That was what my manager told me – anything is possible – after the pacemaker, just run your race. And that is what I did.”

Kipyegon nearly broke the world record last August, missing it by 0.3 seconds at a Diamond League stop in Monaco.

Pro triathlete Emma Pallant-Browne is speaking out about competing while on her period.

The No. 7-ranked triathlete in the world, Pallant-Browne is receiving widespread praise for her response after an Instagram commenter criticized a photo of her that showed a menstrual blood stain.

“Not the most flattering pic… surely you can crop it a bit better,” said the commenter, in reference to a photo posted by the PTO European Open in Ibiza.

“Thanks for caring but definitely something I’m not shy to talk about because it’s the reality of females in sport,” Pallant-Browne responded. “My period comes over a month in between and there will be one day where it is super heavy, I pray it won’t be race day but every now and then it is. No matter what tampon I have experimented with, for anything over three hours it’s too heavy.

“So just as someone might get gut issues in a race I have to suck it up and give what I have and not be afraid to talk to women who have the same problem.”

The response has struck a chord with many athletes who deal with similar issues, who have praised Pallant-Browne’s honesty.

“I literally just posted a story about my race performance yesterday and the impact of time of month,” wrote fellow triathlete Renee Kiley. “Totally need to normalize conversations about it because it really shouldn’t be awkward or a huge deal at all. Just part of life.”

Paralympian Stef Reid echoed those sentiments, writing, “We see photos of athletes all the time with bruises and blood. Why should this one draw shame?”

Sha’Carri Richardson made a statement on Friday, recording her biggest victory in two years. Competing at the first Diamond League stop of the season in Doha, Qatar, Richardson won the women’s 100m in 10.76 seconds, the world’s best time in 2023. It is also the first Diamond League victory of her career.

“I found my peace back on the track, and I’m not letting anything or anybody take that anymore,” Richardson said in her post-race interview.

Richardson defeated a field that included five-time Olympic medalist Shericka Jackson (2nd) and two-time Olympic medalist Dina Asher-Smith (3rd), plus fellow Americans TeeTee Terry (4th), Teahna Daniels (6th), Melissa Jefferson (7th) and Abby Steiner (8th). Video of the race is embedded below.

Richardson is the fourth fastest American woman all-time, behind Florence Griffith-Joyner (1988, 10.49), Carmelita Jeter (2009, 10.64), and Marion Jones (10.65, 1998). Richardson’s 100 meter personal best (wind legal) was recorded in April 2021 (10.72).

Still, the 23-year-old has yet to compete at a major global championship. Richardson, the 2019 NCAA champion, won the women’s 100m at U.S. Olympic Trials in 2021, but her result was disqualified after she tested positive for marijuana (a substance that is banned in-competition).

She struggled in 2022, failing to qualify for last year’s World Championships after she was eliminated in the first round of the 100m at USATF Outdoor Nationals.

But Richardson’s result on Friday is a promising sign for 2023. The biggest track and field competition this season is the World Championships, which will be held in Budapest, Hungary, in August. In order to qualify for the individual 100 meter race, Richardson will need to finish in the top three during the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships in July.

“Y’all say I’m back,” Richardson said in an Instagram video ahead of the race in Doha. “I’m not back. I’m better.”