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26.11.2008 Sports News

Bolt: World Athlete Of The Year

By Daily Guide

Jamaica's Usain Bolt and Russian woman, Yelena Isinbayeva, have been named world's athletes of the year by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

The Olympic champions took the awards as well as $67,000 each at a ceremony in Monaco for their superb Beijing 2008 displays.

Bolt, 22, became the first man in history to break world records in all three sprint events at a single Games, while Isinbayeva, 26, raised the world record to 5.05m to retain her Olympic title.

Bolt broke the 100 metres world record of 9.74 seconds held by compatriot Asafa Powell earlier in the season, but he again eclipsed the new mark by clocking 9.69 in Beijing.

He then broke Michael Johnson's world record of 19.32 in the final of the 200m by lowering it to 19.30 before leading Jamaica's 4x100m sprint relay to Olympic victory in a record time of 37.10.

"I have a motto that anything is possible, but this really is such an honour," said Bolt, who became Jamaica's first Olympic 100m champion.

"Just to be included with every great name in the sport is wonderful. I'll try to do it year after year."

Isinbayeva, who took athlete of the year honours in 2004 and 2005, added: "I'm very proud. It feels like the first time."

During the season, the Russian raised her own world record in the pole vault three times, first to 5.03 metres in Rome and 5.04 in Monaco in June and then at Beijing - her 24th world best mark.

Isinbayeva just edged out Ethiopian distance runner Tirunesh Dibaba, who produced an unprecedented Olympic double victory in the 5000 and 10,000 metres in Beijing.

Cuban 110m hurdler Dayron Robles won the male performance of the year award after setting a new world record of 12.87sec as well as claiming the Olympic title.

Dibaba and Barbora Spotakova, of the Czech Republic, who set a new world record after claiming the Olympic javelin title, took the women's equivalent.

Pamela Jelimo, who won the 800m Olympic title at the age of 18, was given the revelation of the year award.

The full list of the IAAF award winners:

Male world athlete: Usain Bolt (Jam)

Female world athlete: Yelena Isinbayeva (Rus)

Male performance: Dayron Robles (Cub)

Female performance: Tirunesh Dibaba (Eth)/ Barbora Spotakova (Cze)

Revelation of the year: Pamela Jelimo (Ken)

Distinguished Career award: Kajsa Bergqvist (Swe)/Stefan Holm (Swe)/Jefferson Perez (Ecu)

Inspirational award: Henry Rono (Ken)

80 Years of Women Athletes at the Olympic Games: Jackie Joyner-Kersee (USA)

Special Olympic award: Usain Bolt (Jam)/Tirunesh Dibaba (Eth)/Yelena Isinbayeva (Rus)/Francoise Mbango (Cmr)/Angelo Taylor (USA)/Andreas Thorkildsen (Nor)

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