Bolt, SFP chase IAAF award his­tory

The Star (Jamaica) - - SPORTS -

MONTE CARLO, Monaco: 993. That was the last time that ath­letes from the same coun­try won both the male and fe­male IAAF World Ath­lete of the Year Awards. Back then, Great Bri­tain’s Colin Jack­son and Sally Gun­nell beat the world’s best to the sport’s top hon­our.

Be­fore that, it had only been done once, in 1988 when Amer­i­can pair Carl Lewis and Florence Grif­fith- Joyner walked away with male and fe­male ath­letes of the year awards.

This year, as track and field’s lu­mi­nar­ies gather in Monte Carlo, home of the IAAF’s head­quar­ters to cel­e­brate an­other year of ath­letic ac­com­plish­ment, Ja­maican duo Usain Bolt and Shelly- Ann FraserPryce may yet have some work for the his­to­ri­ans.

The Ja­maicans, hav­ing dom­i­nated their peers at this sum­mer’s IAAF World Cham­pi­onships in Ath­let­ics in­side Moscow’s Luzh­niki Sta­dium, are over­whelm­ing favourites to take top hon­ours at to­mor­row’s cer­e­mony at the Salle des Etoiles.

While Fraser- Pryce will be hop­ing to se­cure her first AOY award and in the process be­come the first Ja­maican woman to re­ceive the nod since Merlene Ottey in 1990, Bolt has al­ready cre­ated his­tory when he last year walked away with an un­prece­dented fourth AOY Award dur­ing the IAAF’s cen­te­nary celebrations in Barcelona, Spain.

Bolt, who this year won gold medals in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m re­lay at the World Cham­pi­onships and is also re­spon­si­ble for the fastest 200m ( 19.66) and 100m ( 9.77) among ac­tive ath­letes, was named the top male ath­lete in 2008 af­ter his Bei­jing Olympics hero­ics, again in 2009 af­ter the Ber­lin World Cham­pi­onships, as well as 2011 and 2012 af­ter his per­for­mances at the Daegu World Cham­pi­onships and Lon­don Olympic Games re­spec­tively.

How­ever, it’s not ex­actly an open and shut case for the big Ja­maican this time around, with fel­low fi­nal­ists, Bri­tain’s Mo Farah and Euro­pean Ath­lete of the Year Bo­hdan Bon­darenko ( Ukraine) ex­pected to give the dou­ble sprint world record holder some­thing to think about.

Fraser- Pryce left the World Cham­pi­onships as the 100m, 200m and 4x100m re­lay cham­pion but did not stop there, tak­ing the Di­a­mond race in both sprint events. She also recorded the fastest time this sea­son in the 100m and 200m with marks of 10.71 and 22.13.

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