Usain Bolt and Yelena Isinbayeva are IAAF Athletes of the Year for 2008! by Alfons Juck, Notes by Larry Eder


At the World Athletics extravagana in Monte Carlo, the IAAF gave its two most prestigious awrds, the Male and Female Athlete on the Year trophies, to Usain Bolt and Yelena Isinbayeva.

Usain Bolt and his three world records in Beijing mesmerized the sporting world this past summer in Beijing, with his records over 100 meters, 200 meters and his part in the 4 x 100 meter relay.

Yelena Isinbayeva is, in this writers mind, the most dominant athlete in her event. Isinbayeva is back on form, after her superb showing in Beijing with Olympic and world records, and her coach Vitaly Petrov will help her reach a new level.

Bolt has said he can run 9.50, perhaps and Isinbayeva speaks of 5.20 meters in the women's pole vault. Congratulations to both athletes on such great years!

(NOV 23, 2008) UPDATE


MONTE CARLO: The 600+ guests saw an extraordinary evening for world athletics. Mega star, the sprinter Usain Bolt drove in the morning in Ferrari and in the evening was awarded with Male World Athlete of the Year trophy and 100 000 USD. „I do not know how I will spent it, but for something good. And I will buy some computer games. I want to continue to win the award in next years. My coach thinks I should ran at 9.50 level," he said. Other finalists were Kenenisa Bekele and Dayron Robles.

In Monaco living pole vault flying star Yelena Isinbayeva got her third AOY award after 2004 and 2005. „But this one is the most important because the changes which happened around me in 2006 and 2007 and some people started no longer believe to me. As you see I m back at the highest level and I want to continue. I think 520 is possible, as my coach Vitaliy Petrov says the difference between men and women should be one metre. I think I already spent the half of my award for tonights dress," Isinbayeva added with her smile. Other finalists were Tirunesh Dibaba and Pamela Jelimo.

Male performance of the year went to Cuban Dayron Robles for his 110 m Hurdles world record in Ostrava 12.87. Exceptionally in women section two athletes got the performance of the year trophy. Tirunesh Dibaba for her 5000 m world record and Barbora Spotakova for javelin world record.

Revelation of the year Award goes to Pamela Jelimo who came from nowhere to win Olympic gold, Golden League million USD jackpot and broke four world junior records at 800 m.

Usual Distinguished Career Awards went to athletes who ended in recent time their careers. Swedish high jumpers Stefan Holm and Kajsa Bergqvist and walker Jefferson Perez from Ecuador.

Special Olympic Award went to Bolt, Dibaba, Isinbayeva, Angelo Taylor, Francoise Mbango and Andreas Thorkildsen.

Remembering the history of the sport, the former long distance world record holder Henry Rono got the Inspirational Award and still heptathlon WR holder Jackie Joyner-Kersee the 80 Years of Women Athletes at the Olympic Games trophy.

Chinese star Liu Xiang collected his Performance of the Year Trophy for 2006 when he was unable to attend the World Athletics Gala.

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