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Bolt and Isinbayeva are World Athletes of the Year 2008 World Athletics Gala

23.11.2008

Monte-Carlo During the celebrations of the World Athletics Gala hosted by International Athletic Foundation (IAF) Honorary President HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco and IAF & IAAF President Lamine Diack in the Salle des Etoiles of the Sporting Club dEté Monte Carlo, 22-year-old Jamaican Usain Bolt and Russias 26-year-old Yelena Isinbayeva were crowned as the Male and Female World Athletes of the Year 2008.
Bolt, who captivated the attention of the sporting world with his Olympic 100m, 200m and 4x100m gold medals, each with a world record performance, commented:

I have a motto that anything is possible. But this really is such an honour.

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

Undefeated in nine outdoor competitions this year, Isinbayeva raised her own World record on three occasions and defended her Olympic title, also with a World record. Also the World Athlete of the Year for 2004 and 2005, Isinbayeva commented:

Im very proud. It feels like the first time after getting over my difficulties of 2006 and 2007. I will make a very special place of honor fro this trophy.

"I knew it was going to be difficult over the past two seasons. I was very confident that I could break through the wall.

2008 World Athletics Gala Awards

Male World Athlete of the Year
Usain Bolt (JAM)

Female World Athlete of the Year
Yelena Isinbayeva (RUS)

Male Performance of the Year
Dayron Robles (CUB)*

*Liu Xiang (CHN )will collect his Performance of the Year Trophy for 2006 when he was unable to attend the World Athletics Gala.

Female Performance of the Year
Tirunesh Dibaba (ETH)
Barbora Spotakova (CZE)

Revelation of the year Award
Pamela Jelimo (KEN)

Distinguished Career Award
Kajsa Bergqvist (SWE)
Stefan Holm (SWE)
Jefferson Pérez (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)
Françoise Mbango (CMR)
Angelo Taylor (USA)
Andreas Thorkildsen (NOR)

*Exceptionally considering the incredible depth of candidates for the Performance of the Year award, the International Athletic Foundation Panel decided to extend the number of finalists to the top 5.

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