Bolt (4) and Felix (1), at World Athlete of Year, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

Allyson Felix, Usain Bolt, 2012 IAAF World Athletes of the Year, photo by Giancarlo Columbo/, and courtesy of IAAF Media Dept. 

The weekend of festivities celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the IAAF, in 1912, was a celebration of all things good with our sport. Allyson Felix and Usain Bolt were named athletes of the year in a year so competitive that hurdle great Sally Pearson and double London gold Mo Farah were not included in the final three candidates. 

The celebration of Aries Merritt as the Most Inspirational (12.80 WR for 110m hurdles), Female Performance of the Year (USA 4 x 100m WR team, Tianna Madison, Bianca Knight, Allyson Felix, Carmelita Jeter), and Male Performance of the Year (David Rudisha), celebrated all that is good in the present. The future: Look to Antonique Strachan, who won the 100m and 200m at the World Juniors, and Keshorn Walcott, the young man who won the World Juniors, then, the London Olympics, giving Trinidad its second gold medal ever, and Ato Boldon, Trinidad's first gold medalist, the shock of his life. 

Celebrating the past, the IAAF instituted their Athlete Hall of Fame. In the first class were many who had not lived to see the Hall of Fame. There were 24 living Hall of Famers, criteria being a world record setter, Olympic or World Champion, out of competition for a decade. (Sadly, 91 year old Harrison Dillard, who had golds in 1948 (100m), and 1952 (110m), but never set a world record, can be be part of the Hall of Fame). 

Celebrating the present, past and future of the sport, the IAAF has to be congratulated for the several days of festivities! Watch for more interviews and comments to come. 

First Class of the IAAF Hall of Fame, 
photo by Phillipe Fitte, for the IAAF Media Department
(Iolanda Balas, Sergey Bubka, Sebastian Coe, Betty Cuthbert, Alberto Juantorena, Wang Junxia, Kipchoge Keino, Stefka Kostadinova, Edwin Moses, Dan O'Brien, Peter Snell, and Irena Szewinska)

BARCELONA (ESP): Usain Bolt for fourth time and Allyson Felix for first time are the IAAF World Athletes of the Year 2012. Both received their trophies and US$100,000 prize at the Athletes of the Year Awards Ceremony in the Grand Ballroom of the Pullman Skipper Hotel, ahead of this evening's IAAF Centenary Gala Show in the MNAC Museum. The awards were hosted by International Athletic Foundation (IAF) Honorary President HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco and IAF & IAAF President Lamine Diack, who presented the trophies to the Female and Male winners respectively. Other finalists were David Rudisha and Aries Merritt (both present) and Jessica Ennis and Valerie Adams (both missing). Male performance of the year went to David Rudisha for his 800 m world record, female performance was the US 4x100 m world record 40.82 (three members were present, not only Felix but also Tianna Madison and Bianca Knight). Aries Merritt achieved IAAF Inspirational Award. Male Rising Star Award went to javelin olympic winner Keshorn Walcott and Female to sprints world junior champion Antonique Strachan. Elias Makori from Kenyan paper Daily Nation won the World Journalist Award and legendary Jamaican coach Glen Mills got the Coaching Lifetime Achievement Award. Masters Athletes of the Year are US Rob Lida and Australian Lynn Ventris. IAAF informs.

BARCELONA (ESP): The spectacular IAAF Centenary Gala Show which took place tonight in Barcelona's Palau Nacional was the highlight of a momentous year of celebrations which have marked the IAAF Centenary. The night which was hosted by International Athletic Foundation (IAF) & IAAF President Lamine Diack, was coordinated on stage by Britain's Jonathan Edwards, the World Triple Jump record holder, and Catalan catwalk model and actress Judit Masco. The nearly two hours show took place on a giant stage backed by a video wall, in front of an audience of around 800 guests, which included IAF Honorary President HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, IOC members, members of the World Athletics Family and representatives of other International Federations as well as dignitaries from Spanish sport and politics. Joining them were around 200 champions from the London Olympic Games 2012 (and 1948!) as well as many other legends of the sport, who were treated to an array of music and dance performances and inspirational videos commemorating 100 years of the IAAF.  A parade of the flags of the 17 Founding Members of the IAAF brought a flurry of colour to the stage. The IAAF Hall of Fame was officially inaugurated with the induction of the 24 first members. President Diack presented trophies to the 13 legends attending this weekend - Iolanda Balas, Sergey Bubka, Sebastian Coe, Betty Cuthbert, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Alberto Juantorena, Wang Junxia, Kipchoge Keino, Stefka Kostadinova, Edwin Moses, Dan O'Brien, Peter Snell, and Irena Szewinska.  To toast the occasion of the IAAF Centenary, World Athletes of the Year Usain Bolt and Allyson Felix joined President Diack, with the six of the most outstanding athletes from this summer's IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona: Angelica Bengtsson, Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon, Ana Peleteiro, Anthonique Strachan, Adam Gemili, and Keshorn Walcott - coming on stage to symbolize a bright future for athletics as the next 100 years of the IAAF gets underway. Writes IAAF.

HELSINKI (FIN): Professor Vesa Harmaakorpi (51) is the new President of Finnish Athletics Federation SUL. In the election he beat former great hurdler Arto Bryggare 30:14. He is succeeding Antti Pihlakoski who was leading the Finnish Athletics since 2006. Harmaakorpi works as Dean of Lappeenranta University of Technology, Faculty of techno-economics.


BASEL (SUI, Nov 24): Eritrean Tadesse Abraham won the 30th Basel City Run in 27:05 at 9.5 km. Second Kenyan Bernard Matheka had 27:07 and third Bruno Albuquerque of Portugal 27:11. Home star Viktor Rothlin was 7th in 27:30. Kenyan Jane Muia won the 7.8 km in 25:48 just two seconds ahead of Czech Lucie Sekanova (25:50) and Swiss marathon runner Martina Strahl 25:58.

LIVERPOOL (GBR, Nov 24): Morpeth's Jonathan Taylor raced to one of the biggest wins of his career with victory in McCain UK Cross Challenge incorporating the European Cross Country Trials in Sefton Park, Liverpool, while the senior women's title went to impressive under-23 Jess Coulson. In heavy underfoot conditions, the under-23 men's title went to Jonny Hay with the junior wins going to Mick Woods-coached duo Ian Bailey and Emelia Gorecka. The UK team for European CC Championships will be announced on Tuesday. In the senior 9.8 km Taylor clocked 29:55 ahead of Andy Vernon 29:59 and Steve Vernon 30:00. Coulson got at the 8.1 km 27:41 beating Hannah Walker 27:48 and Louise Damen 27:55.

KAPSOKWONY (KEN, Nov 24): Moses Mukono gave training partner and village mate the World 800m record holder David Rudisha, a perfect gift ahead of the IAAF World Centenary Gala when he grabbed his third victory in the KCB/AK National Cross Country Series. Informs Mukono, 17, powered away unchallenged to the tape with the Barcelona World Juniors eighth finisher (5000m) arriving home in 24:45, ten seconds ahead of Walter Kipkoech (24:56) in second to clinch top honours in the men 8km junior race. Peter Namuria who beat him in the second meeting in Machakos a fortnight ago was forced to third in 24:59. In the men's senior 12km long race, Hosea Macharinyang, a veteran of record seven World Cross appearances, put together an even more devastating front running display to win his first domestic series event. He clocked 37:25 ahead of
Hosea Nailel (37:38) and David Maru (37:41) came in second and third ahead of World junior 10 000 m bronze medallist Geoffrey Kirui (37:51) in fourth. In the absence of 2010 World Cross senior women champion, Emily Chebet who had won the opening three rounds of the annual series, Magdalene Masai was crowned the champion of the 8 km event in 29:53. Nancy Chepkwemoi (29:56) and Bydgozcz World Cross junior silver winner Purity Cherotich (29:58) were second and third. Sheila Chemngetich won the junior girls 6 km in 21:53.

BREZNO (SVK, Nov 24): At Slovak CC Championships Jaroslav Szabo won the 4 km and defended his title from last year in 15:09. In the 9 km Juraj Vitko won in 34:57. Marathon London olympian Katarina Beresova won the women 4 km in 17:11.

OSLZYNA (POL, Nov 24): Poland´s U23 National CC Champions are Marek Kowalski 8 km in 26:00 and Aleksandra Brzezinska 22:32 at 6 km. 

TOLEDO (ESP, Nov 24): At 25th Toledo Walks wins for Alvaro Martin 20:20 and Lorna Luaces 23:22 at 5 km.

VOLVIC (FRA, Nov 24): Kenyan Paul Melly won the 55th edition of the Cross de Volvic with 22:36 at 7.39 km. Second Goeffrey Kenesi 22:57 and best French James Theuri as 5th in 23:24. Alemu Worknesh of Ethiopia won the women 4.86 km in 17:06 beating Clarisse Cruz of Portugal 17:22 and Russian Tatyana Vernigor 17:33. Best French Julie Coulaud fourth (17:39). 

BAURU (BRA, Nov 21-23): At Juegos Abiertos de San Pablo Jadel Gregorio achieved 16.43 in the triple jump,  world indoor champion Mauro Vinicius leaped to 793 cm.


SAN CARLOS (BRA): Legendary Brazilian triple jumper Nelson Prudencio died at age of 68 on Friday due to lung cancer. He won silver at Mexico Games 1968 and bronze in Munich 1972.

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