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Bolt and Richards are World Athletes of the Year

Jamaican sensation Usain Bolt and American Sanya Richards, who both dominated their respective event during the 2009 track and field season, were named IAAF world athletes of the year on Sunday.

Bolt, who was winning the prestigious award for the second year in a row, established world records in both the 100 metres and 200 metres with two sensational runs in the Berlin world championships in August.

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“He has raised (his performances) to an unbelievable level,” International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) president Lamine Diack told a news conference, calling Bolt a brilliant runner in both his specialties.

“He brings a lot of prestige to our sport,” Diack said. “He is one of the best-known people on the planet.”

Richards, who previously won in 2006, described the honor as being on the same level with her Berlin victory, her first global title.

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“I am going to be dancing all night,” the 24-year-old Richards said ahead of the IAAF’s annual gala.

With no Olympic or world title at stake, Bolt said his biggest goal in 2010 would be to go undefeated on the new Diamond League circuit.

The 23-year-old Jamaican is expected to face American world silver medalist Tyson Gay, the second-fastest 100 meters runner of all-time, at least three times with Jamaican compatriot Asafa Powell, the former world record holder, joining the pair in several races.

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“With three great athletes in one race, anything is possible,” Bolt said.

“I am going to be hard to beat if I am in shape,” added the Olympic and world champion who did not lose a final in 2009. “But if I get beat, I would not be surprised.”

In the long term, Bolt said it would be important for him to defend his world and Olympic championships.

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“I don’t consider myself a legend until I defend most of my titles,” he said.

Richards said Bolt was one of the reasons she finally won a global crown in the 400 meters.

“I realized when I watched Usain Bolt compete and a lot of the other athletes that had great success…(that they) were having so much fun,” Richards said.

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Put together by a member of the World-Track and Field Website team members. This is usually done by an in house member with able assistance from someone or an agency reporting from outside.

15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Tony roots

    November 23, 2009 at 10:11 am

    I understand quite well the criteria in which the IAAF useeise to choose the Male / Female athlete of the year, however, can someone please clarify how they [IAAF] choose the coach of the year? Dose Sandy Richards coach Clyde Hart deserved to be coach of the year over the likes of Mr, Glen Mills, the coach of worlds #1 athlete [of either gender] Usain Bolt, or even Mr, Steven Francis, coach of asafa powell, shelli-ann frazer, melanie walker, bridget foster and sherika williams, just to name a few?

  2. minnie

    November 23, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    tony roots it seems as if those coaches were not included in the list of coaches that is the only explaination. these organisations are very biased 2wards the united states it seems 2 me that they have blinkers on

  3. Tony roots

    November 23, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    very well said minnie.

  4. Tony roots

    November 23, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    most time when Sanya Richards win a race, especially the ones of great importance and she is in her jubilant mood, i can’t help but notices that look in her eyes, a kind of sadness, some sort of space out look. may be it’s because she did not win the race in the colours that she really want’s to dorn, the colours that she sees every night she lays her head down to rest, the colours that took the world by storm at the Beijing Olympics and again at the Burlin World Championship. Sanya sweetheart, i share your too, and i know it’s only because the flag is not black, green and gold, COME HOME, COME HOME, EARNESTLY TENDERLY JAMAICA IS CALLING, CALLING FOR ALL HER ATHLETES TO COME HOME… come and take your rightful place and become who you were born to be, A TRUE JAMAICAN CHAMPION.

  5. waynef

    November 24, 2009 at 10:42 am

    No dissrespect to coach Clyde Hart, but coach of the year award was most definately a rip-off. coach Clyde hart had a few athletes that showed some success in Berlin. compare the medals by Clyde harts pupils vs medals by Stephen Francis pupils…. Clyde Hart: Sanya Richards – Gold, Lashawn Merit – Gold, Jeremy Wariner – Silver….. Now check out Stephen Francis’s Medal count.
    Stephen Francis: Shelly-ann Fraser – Gold, Bridgette Foster Hylton: Gold, Melaine Walker – Gold, Shericka williams – Silver, Asafa powell: Bronze. thats 2 golds and and 1 silver for Clyde Hart in individual events, and 3 golds, 1 silver, and 1 Bronze for Stephen Francis in individual events. stephen Francis also had more finalist athletes, more semi-finalist athletes than did Mr.Hart. stephen Francis also had a better medal collection in the team relay events. another advantage that Stephen Francis boasted was his dominance in many different events. from 400m to 100m to 100m-hurdles, and 200m. as well as 400m-hurdles. Mr Francis was ROBBED Royally. If Kanye was at that award ceremony Even He would say ” Excuse me Clyde Hart, I’ma let chu finish, but Stephen Francis had one of the greatest seasons of all time”. Ithink Iaaf and all these other cheatin Agencies need to take the initiative of publishing the criteria used to determine who gets these awards. is it based on accolades, looks, ethnicity, color or on some other type of popularity contest.

  6. tony roots

    November 24, 2009 at 11:50 am

    WAYNEF, YOU SAID IT MORE ELOQUENT,THANKS FOR BACKING ME UP ON THIS.

  7. tony roots

    November 24, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    the jamaican athletes should no doubt be the most decorated and celebrated on the track, if you would just reflect back on there achievements when they were juniors. at high school championships, carifta games, the penn relays and the world youth and junior games, they have distinguished themselves with very high level of preformances over the years, clocking superior times over there rivals. but as soon as they becomes professionals and it’s time to get pay and to take home there golds, they are always ambush and robed by some very very large band of STEROID MONKEYS. but now that the IAAF is trying to catch and eradicate them, [THE STEROID MONKEYS] it as bean a little bit better, as you can see from the result of the beijing olympics and the berlin world championship. every now and again you will see one and two of them [THE STEROID MONKEYS] come out to play, but they play very careful because they are awear that… A TRAP HAS BEAN SET FOR THEM.

  8. Anna

    November 24, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    When Franno stop appearing to be tough, unapproachable and less controversial, then I think he will be recognized.

  9. Stacy

    November 24, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    Waynef – excellent comment and hilarious when I think about it in terms of Kanye West. But maybe we should have had a Kanye West/Taylor Swift moment with Clyde Hart. How could Clyde Hart win over Glen Mills or Stephen Francis? Can anyone tell me what the criteria is for this award? Because there must be some hidden criteria that allowed him to win this award. I am not denying that he is a great coach, as he has coached some of the worlds best athletes. That being said, whatever the criteria, athlete results should way in heavily. If we went by results, then it would have to be between Mills and Francis, and Clyde Hart would not be in the picture, much less winning the award.

  10. wanef

    November 24, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    Thanks Stacy…. I too would have loved to see Glen mills win. because of his 3 decades of success at the highest level but this awards constitutes a coaches success in the 2009 season. that said Glen mills had a great year with the work that he’s done with daniel bailey, usain bolt, yohan blake and marvin anderson and so forth. the issue that makes it difficult to argue for Mr. mills is that he only showcased one athlete that earned a medal at the iaaf championships. there is a far greater case that can be made for stephen Francis, who’s athletes shocased the best in berlin and ran equally well on the circuit.

  11. minnie

    November 25, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    all of u have summarised it well i better micase & say what i have 2 b4 my baby start crying again, roots the thing is sanya decided 2 run 4 the us because of the steriod monkeys so she was under the disillusion that the us was on top of the world something tells me she regrets swithcing allegiances, u should see her on youtube with asafa & shelly-ann. waynef & stacy any of our coaches couldv easily won & even though mills has one outstanding athlete in his stable him merit it because he’s been coaching outstanding athletes, raymond stewart, i think gregory meghoo was in his stable @ 1 time. carey mcdonald, kevin moore @ high school level 2 name a few. lastly the one athlete that he has in his stable has transcended the sport not just in his athletic prowess but his entire showmanship, he has injected a new life into the sport. to b quiet frank im an ardent track fan from in the 80s but @ one point after ottey retired there was a lull in my interest so im really glad for the new life that he & others have brought 2 the sport

  12. Stacy

    November 29, 2009 at 9:56 am

    Wanef and Minnie, I would not have included Glen Mills ordinarily, simply because Stephen Francis has so many more medalled athletes. However, Glen Mills is coaching the world’s most reknowned athlete. He also, took an athlete whom everyone said should not be running the 100m due to his height, tweaked his training and his body positioning, and created the best 100m runner…ever. The fact that Usain is having better reaction times and the same turn over times as shorter athletes, speaks volumes as to the training Mills is giving him. In addition, the mudslinging and insult hurling that Stephen Francis had with the JAAA prior to Berlin, was both unsportsmanlike and puerile. However, there can be no denying that he is a fantastic coach and that his athletes love and admire him.

    The COY should have have come down to one of these 2 men. For what reason they gave it to Clyde Hart I cannot fathom.

  13. Stacy

    November 29, 2009 at 10:03 am

    When I think about it, I guess I shouldn’t be too shocked that neither Glen Mills nor Stephen Francis were chosen. After all, Tyson Gay has not gotten a gold medal in any championship event since 2007, and yet they nominated and shortlisted him for male athlete of the year.

  14. waynef

    November 30, 2009 at 11:39 pm

  15. minnie

    December 3, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    but stacy that is why glen shoulv been in that selectin 4 the very reason uv said unu besides he has coached some talent @ high school level as well the fastest man in the world is under his wings that count 4 supm

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