2009 Athletes of the Year Finalists

>> November 21, 2009

The world-wide Athletics family will gather for yet another prestigious celebration when the 2009 World Athletics Gala is held at the Salle des Etoiles of the Sporting Club d’Eté this Sunday 22 November.

Hosted by International Athletic Foundation (IAF) Honorary President HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco and IAF & IAAF President Lamine Diack, the World Athletics Gala will be highlighted by the announcements of the Male and the Female World Athlete of the Year 2009, with the awards presented live on stage.

Five men & women athletes are in the run for 2009 World Athlete of the Year.
The winners of the 2009 World Athlete of the Year Awards will be announced live, on stage, during the 2009 World athletics gala, which will take place in Monaco on 22 November 2009.

The five finalists for the men’s category are as follows:


Kenenisa Bekele
27 years old


• Became the first man ever to win a 5000/10,000m double at the IAAF WCh
• Has set a Championship record 26:46.31 in the longer event in Berlin
• Has won his third share of the ÅF Golden League Jackpot
• Has set the fastest times in the world this year at 5000 and 10,000m
• Remained undefeated at 3000, 5000 and 10,000m through 2009

Usain Bolt
23 years old


• Won three gold medals at the 100,200 and 4×100m at the WCh
• Set two World records 9.58 at 100m and 19.19 at 200m in Berlin
• Won the World Athletics Final 200m in a competition record 19.68
• Has run 5 times under 9.90 and 3 times under 19.60
• Remained undefeated in finals at 100, 200 and 400m throughout 2009

Tyson Gay
27 years old


• Won the 100m silver medal at the Berlin World Championships
• Has become the second fastest 100m runner of all time at 9.69
• Has improved the American record three times and run 6 times under 9.95
• Won the World Athletics Final 100m in 9.88
• Has become the third fastest 200m of all-time at 19.58

Steve Hooker
27 years old


• Won the Berlin WCh Pole Vault through injury taking only 2 jumps
• Has become the second highest pole vaulter of all-time with a 6.06 (indoor)
• Has cleared the highest bar in 16 years
• Has jumped 3 times over 6 metres (indoors)
• Has won 8 out of 10 competitions (indoors and outdoors) in 2009

Andreas Thorkildsen
27 years old


• Won the Berlin World Championships Javelin Throw gold medal
• Has established the year’s farthest throw at 91.28m
• Has thrown 5 times over 88 metres in 2009
• Won the World Athletics Final at 87.75m
• Has won 9 out of 13 competitions in 2009



The five finalists for the women’s category are as follows:


Yelena Isinbayeva
27 years old


o Set a World outdoor record 5.06m in Zürich
o Set a World Indoor record 5.00m in Donetsk
o Has won her second share of the ÅF Golden League Jackpot
o Has set the four highest marks in the world in 2009
o Has won 12 out 14 competitions (indoors and outdoors) in 2009


Sanya Richards
24 years old


o Finally struck 400m gold in Berlin and anchored the US 4x400m to a 2nd gold medal
o Has won her third share of the ÅF Golden League Jackpot
o Won the World Athletics Final 400m in 49.95
o Has set the 4 fastest times in the world in 2009
o Has won 10 out of 11 competitions in 2009


Valerie Vili
25 years old


o Won the Shot Put gold medal at the Berlin World Championships
o Has improved the Oceania record twice and broken 21 metres for the first time
o Has set 9 of the ten farthest throws in the world in 2009 and the best in 5 years
o Won the World Athletics Final in a competition record 21.07m
o Has remained undefeated throughout 2009


Blanka Vlasic
26 years old

o Won the High Jump gold medal at the Berlin World Championships
o Has become the sole second all-time outdoor performer at 2.08m
o Has cleared the highest bar outdoors in 22 years!
o Has jumped 14 times over 2 metres and 8 times over 2.03m
o Has won 19 out of 23 competitions (indoors and outdoors) in 2009


Anita Wlodarczyk
24 years old


o Won the Hammer Throw gold medal at the Berlin World Championships
o Set a 77.96m World record in Berlin
o Has set the two farthest throws in the world in 2009
o Has thrown 9 times over 75 metres
o Has won 12 out of 14 competitions in 2009

Source: IAAF

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