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Athletics - 23. November 2007.

Rich payday awaits World Athletes of the Year

Rich payday awaits World Athletes of the Year
Wednesday 21 November 2007

Monte-Carlo - The highlight of next weekend, when the World Athletics Family gathers in Monaco, will be the crowning of the Male and Female World Athlete of the Year during the prestigious World Athletics Gala which will be hosted at the Salle des Etoiles of the Sporting Club d’Eté, on Sunday 25 November.

Presented by International Athletic Foundation (IAF) Honorary President HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, and IAF & IAAF President Lamine Diack, the World Athlete of the Year trophies will be accompanied by $100,000 prize money each for the best man and best woman of 2007.


Following the survey of the Athletics Family and an online poll, three men and three women are still in contention to become the 2007 World Athlete of the Year.

Male Finalists are: Tyson Gay, Haile Gebrselassie and Liu Xiang
Female Finalists are: Meseret Defar, Carolina Klüft and Blanka Vlasic

In the 20-year history of the World Athletics Gala, a celebration of the sport which started back in 1988, male sprinters have won the award five times through Carl Lewis (1988 & 1991), Michael Johnson (1996 & 1999) and Asafa Powell (2006); high hurdlers have won it twice through Roger Kingdom (1989) and Colin Jackson (1993) while Gebrselassie was crowned World Athlete of the Year in 1998.

Among the women, middle and long distance runners dominated in 1999 and 2002 with Gabriela Szabo and Paula Radcliffe respectively; high jumpers were Athletes of the Year in 1992 and 2003 with Heike Henkel and Hestrie Cloete while only one heptathlete was crowned World Athlete of the year, Jackie Joyner-Kersee in 1994.

History of World Athlete of the Year award:

1988 Carl Lewis (USA) - Florence Griffith-Joyner (USA)
1989 Roger Kingdom (USA) - Ana Fidelia Quirot (CUB)
1990 Steve Backley (GBR) - Merlene Ottey (JAM)
1991 Carl Lewis (USA) - Katrin Krabbe (GER)
1992 Kevin Young (USA) - Heike Henkel (GER)
1993 Colin Jackson (GBR) - Sally Gunnell (GBR)
1994 Noureddine Morceli (ALG) - Jackie Joyner-Kersee
1995 Jonathan Edwards (GBR) - Gwen Torrence (USA)
1996 Michael Johnson (USA) - Svetlana Masterkova (RUS)
1997 Wilson Kipketer (DEN) - Marion Jones (USA)
1998 Haile Gebrselassie (ETH) - Marion Jones (USA)
1999 Michael Johnson (USA) - Gabriela Szabo (ROM)
2000 Jan Zelezny (CZE) - Marion Jones (USA)
2001 Hicham El Guerrouj (MAR) - Stacy Dragila (USA)
2002 Hicham El Guerrouj (MAR) - Paula Radcliffe (GBR)
2003 Hicham El Guerrouj (MAR) - Hestrie Cloete (RSA)
2004 Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) - Yelena Isinbayeva (RUS)
2005 Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) - Yelena Isinbayeva (RUS)
2006 Asafa Powell (JAM) - Sanya Richards (USA)

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