INDIANAPOLIS - World-champion sprinter Allyson Felix on Monday was named female winner of the 2007 Jesse Owens Award by USA Track & Field. The 2005 Owens honoree, Felix becomes a two-time Jesse Owens Award winner.
Established in 1981, the Jesse Owens Award is USA Track & Field's highest accolade, presented annually to the outstanding U.S. male and female track and field performers. This year's awards will be presented on December 1 at the Jesse Owens Awards and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, held at the Sheraton Waikiki hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii, in conjunction with USA Track & Field's 2007 Annual Meeting.
"Allyson and Tyson took the sprinting world by storm in 2007," said USATF CEO Craig Masback. "Their youth, humility and grace under tremendous pressure to perform make them great champions who have earned respect from their competitors, the public and the press. We congratulate both of them on their fine seasons."
Felix dominated the women's 200 meters in 2007, winning every race she entered.
At just 21 years old, Felix became the second woman in history to win three gold medals at a single World Outdoor Championships with her triumphs in Osaka, Japan. She first won the 200m in a personal-best 21.81 seconds. It was the fastest time by a woman since 1999 and was the largest margin of victory in World Outdoor history (.53). She then ran a decisive second leg on the winning 4x100m relay team, which clocked 41.98.
In her final event of the World Championships, Felix ran perhaps the fastest 4x400m relay leg ever by an American woman at a major championship and the fastest by any woman since the 1980s. Again running second leg for Team USA, she clocked a 48.0 split to move Team USA into a comfortable lead that propelled the Americans to a win in 3:18.55. It was the fastest time in the world since Team USA won the 1993 World title in 3:16.71.
Felix ran the three 200m fastest times in the world in 2007 and five of the top eight fastest times by an American, including the 22.34 she ran to win the U.S. Outdoor Championships. She also was a strong contender in the 100 and 400. She set personal records in the 100 (11.01) and the 400 (49.70). During the Indoor season, Felix ran one race, the 300m at the Tyson Invitational, where she set an American best in winning in 36.33.
"It is a privilege to receive an award with such a rich tradition," Felix said. "To be recognized in the company of such great champions is truly an honor."
About the Jesse Owens Award
2007 Jesse Owens Award winners were selected in balloting of members of the U.S. track and field media. Other finalists for the men's Jesse Owens Award were Breaux Greer, Reese Hoffa, Bernard Lagat, Brad Walker, Jeremy Wariner and Alan Webb. Women's finalists were Shalane Flanagan, Michelle Perry, Sanya Richards, Jenn Stuczynski and Tiffany Williams.
The permanent commemorative Jesse Owens Award is maintained at USATF National Headquarters, and a replica is provided to each of the winners. Previous winners are Edwin Moses (1981), Carl Lewis (1982 and 1991), Mary Decker (1983), Joan Benoit (1984), Willie Banks (1985), Jackie Joyner-Kersee (1986 and 1987), Florence Griffith Joyner (1988), Roger Kingdom (1989), Lynn Jennings (1990), Kevin Young (1992), Gail Devers (1993, 1996), Michael Johnson (1994, 1995, 1996), Allen Johnson (1997), Marion Jones (1997, 1998), John Godina (1998, 2001), Inger Miller (1999), Maurice Greene (1999), Stacy Dragila (2000 and 2001), Angelo Taylor (2000), Khalid Khannouchi (2002), Deena Kastor (2003), Tom Pappas (2003), Justin Gatlin (2004 and 2005) and Joanna Hayes (2004), Allyson Felix (2005 and 2007) Sanya Richards (2006) and Jeremy Wariner (2006).
For full biographies of Felix visit the Athlete Bios section of www.usatf.org