Tyson Gay and Meseret Defar are World Athletes of the Year!

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Tyson Gay's amazing 2007 season, with his double wins at Indy and then his triple golds at Osaka, and Meseret Defar and her outstanding 5,000 meter world record in June, plus her defense of the World 5,000 meter title have been recognized. At the World Athletics Gala, held Sunday night in Monte Carlo, Tyson Gay and Meseret Defar were recognized for their great seasons!

The following article, written by Bob Ramsak, of Track Profile Report, a newsletter supported by Shooting Star Media, Inc., tells the story. Your favorite blogger was in the middle of a four hour flight, then three hour bus ride to get home to Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin from a week long trip to the West coast.

Tyson and Meseret deserved the accolades-great seasons from great athletes. Congrats are in order for Global Athletics & Marketing-Mark Wetmore and Rich Kenah, who represent these fine athletes!

TRACK PROFILE Report #714
25-Nov-2007

GAY, DEFAR, NAMED ATHLETES OF THE YEAR

by Bob Ramsak
(c) 2007 TRACK PROFILE Report, all rights reserved

MONTE CARLO, Monaco -- Tyson Gay and Meseret Defar were named the World Athletes of the Year for 2006 at the World Athletics Gala held in Monte Carlo, tonight.

Gay, 25, won three gold medals at the IAAF World Championships in Osaka last August, sweeping the 100 and 200 metres and running the third leg on the victorious 4x100m relay. In the 100, Gay clocked 9.85, relegating world record holder Asafa Powell of Jamaica to third. In the 200, he clocked 19.76, taking down Michael Johnson’s meet record. He was just the fourth athlete to collect three gold medals at a single world championships.

“To follow in Carl Lewis's footsteps is just a great honor,” said Gay, referring to the nine-time Olympic gold medallist who won the inaugural world athlete of the year award in 1988.

Defar, 24, shattered her won world record in the 5000 meters, running 14:16.63 in Oslo in June, breaking her own previous standard by more than eight seconds. The reigning Olympic 50000 champion, Defar also won the event ath the world championships and twice lowered the world best for 2 miles. She also set a world record indoors in the 3000, running 8:23.72 in Stuttgart in February.

“I don’t have word to describe how happy I am,” said Defar, who dedicated the award to women athletes in Ethiopia. Haile Gebrselassie and Kenenisa Bekele have earned the honor in the past, but Defar became the first Ethiopian to win the world governing body's annual award.

The annual awards are presented by the International Athletics Foundation (IAF), headed by IAAF President Lamine Diack and Prince Albert II of Monaco. Both athletes received a cash award of USD $100,000.

Powell and Croatia’s world high jump champion Blanka Vlasic received awards for performances of the year. Powell broke his own world record in the 100 meters in September, clocking 9.74 seconds, while Vlasic, who won 18 of 19 competitions this year, was honored for her 2.07 leap in Stockholm to equal the third highest jump ever outdoors.

Gebrselassie and Paula Radcliffe of Great Britain, the world record holders in the marathon, were given the newly-created Inspirational Award. Ruth Bisibori of Kenya, the world junior record holder in the 3000m steeplechase, was given the Rising Star Award.

ENDS

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The TRACK PROFILE REPORT is a news and feature service published by the Track Profile News Service. In addition to regularly dispatched news, profile and interview features, subscribers also receive exclusive on-site updates from major national and international competitions, usually within 24 hours. Copyright (c) 2007 by Bob Ramsak and TRACK PROFILE. All rights reserved. Reproduction, republication, reposting and retransmission in ANY form is strictly prohibited without express permission from the editor. Small portions may be reproduced ONLY if accompanied by source citation and *ADVANCE* notice in writing to Track Profile. Please contact the editor at [email protected] for reprint permission. [ Visit www.trackprofile.com for more. ]
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The TRACK PROFILE Report is sponsored in part by Shooting Star Media, Inc., publisher of American Track & Field, Athletes Only and Lationos Corriendo, among their seven print publications and five websites, is a proud member of the Running Network, LLC, which represents 35 of the finest regional and national athletics and running publications in North America. American Track & Field [ http://www.american-trackandfield.com ] is a professional magazine geared to coaches, athletes and enthusiasts of track & field, race walking, road racing and cross country running. Links to all Shooting Star Media publications can be found on its website at http://www.shootingstarmediainc.com .

For more on track profile, please click: http://www.trackprofile.com

For a great picture of the champions and the complete story please click to:
http://www.american-trackandfield.com/news/iaafathleteyear07gaydefar.html

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