What LaShawn Merritt did to Kirani James in Moscow was no different than a prize fighter bringing his competition in close and doing a KO in the 14th round. Merritt took James out of his safety zone and ran him through a near personal best in the 200 meters. If you look at the pictures of Merritt at the 300 meters, he is flowing. LaShawn Merritt took two years of frustration, and just buried the London gold medalist. When Merritt came back and added a second gold for the 4 x 400 meters, LaShawn showed his domination and why he should be the Jesse Owens AOY for 2013. Nice job, USATF!
And then, Brianna Rollins. Brianna Rollins flies over the hurldes and does it again, and again, and again. She is agile, she is fast and she is focused. Ms. Rollins decimated the best competition in the world with her fast hurdling, reminiscent of Gail Devers, Olympic hurdle goddess. Now, Brianna Rollins is a World Champ hurdle goddess and the JJK AOY for 2013.
Jackie Joyner Kersee is iconic. The JJK Athlete of Year award is being granted to Brianna Rollins, who will give us many things to smile about in the future!
Two AOYs by USATF and I think both are nicely done!
Truth is, we have several athletes who could be AOYs this year, but LaShawn and Brianna earned it with aplomb!
L. MERRITT AND ROLLINS
INDIANAPOLIS (USA): World champions LaShawn Merritt and Brianna Rollins have been awarded the titles of Jesse Owens and Jackie Joyner-Kersee Athlete of the Year, USA Track & Field announced. They will be honored on Saturday at the Jesse Owens Awards and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Indianapolis. The event is held in conjunction with USA Track & Field’s Annual Meeting. The titles represent the US Athletes of the Year awards, The Jackie Joyner-Kersee Award is newly named for the top female athlete. The winners were selected in balloting of members of the U.S. track and field media, and a fan vote was held on the USATF website that comprised 10% of the total vote. More than 4000 fan votes were received. Other men’s finalists included Ashton Eaton, Justin Gatlin, David Oliver, Nick Symmonds, Michael Tinsley and Ryan Whiting. Finalists for the women’s award were Brigetta Barrett, Mary Cain, Michelle Carter, Brittney Reese, Jenny Simpson and Jenn Suhr.