Bolt, SFP chase IAAF award history
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.