Usain Bolt & Sanya Richards - World Athletes of the Year 2009

>> November 23, 2009

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 d’Eté, Monte Carlo, on Sunday 22 November, 23-year-old Jamaican Usain Bolt and USA’s 24-year-old Sanya Richards were crowned as the Male and Female World Athletes of the Year 2009.

Bolt, who again captivated the attention of the sporting world with his World 100m and 200m gold medals, earned the honour for the second consecutive year.

“It’s been an amazing season, but also a trying season,” said Bolt, who broke his own World records with stunning 9.58 and 19.19 performances at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium. “To be named athlete of the year is such a great honour, it shows that all the work we put in pays off.”

Like Bolt in the shorter sprints, Richards dominated the women’s 400m, producing seven of the year’s 10 fastest performances and finally won her first World title.

“I was asked if this feeling would be the same as being World champion and it really is,” said Richards, who had previously been named World Athlete of the Year in 2006. “Considering the other athletes I was up against this year, I know this must have been a really tough decision.”

2009 World Athletics Gala Awards


Male World Athlete of the Year
Usain Bolt (JAM)

Female World Athlete of the Year
Sanya Richards (USA)

Coach of the Year
Clyde Hart (USA

Inaugural IAAF World Journalist Award
Gustav Schwenk (GER)


World Athletes of the Year 1988 - 2008

Men … Women

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 (USA)
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) … ------
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)
2007 Tyson Gay (USA) … Meseret Defar (ETH)
2008 Usain Bolt (JAM) … Yelena Isinbayeva (RUS)

Source: IAAF

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