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Who is your Athlete of the Year?

International athletics
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This Sunday night in Monaco, the World Athletes of the Year will be announced at a gala dinner. (It will probably be star-studded, although this is not confirmed on the press release).

The shortlists have already been named and a name stands out in each category.

Men

Kenenisa Bekele (Ethiopia)
- became a double Olympic champion at 5000m and 10,000m - and World Cross Country champion in 2008.

Usain Bolt (Jamaica) - won three gold medals in Beijing and set three world records in the process, over 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay.

Dayron Robles (Cuba) - Olympic 110m Hurdles champion and world record holder.

Women

Tirunesh Dibaba (Ethiopia)
- became a double Olympic champion first woman ever to achieve the Olympic 5000/10,000m double - World Cross Country champion and broke the world 5000m record is Oslo.

Yelena Isinbayeva (Russia) - defended her pole vault Olympic title, setting the 24th world record of her career in the process; also won the World Indoor Championships earlier this year.

Pamela Jelimo (Kenya) winner of the 800m at the Games, the 18-year-old also set five world junior records in 2008 and was the solo winner of the $1 million Golden League jackpot.

Are Bolt and Isinbayeva already nailed on to take home $100,000 (67,150) each or are other candidates more deserving? Did the IAAF get the shortlists right?

Meanwhile, looking through the list of previous winners, its six years since a British athlete last got a look in, and you wont need three guesses to work out which lachrymose marathon-runner was celebrating.

Fifteen tears, sorry, years ago GB had a clean sweep of the awards thanks to Colin Jackson and Sally Gunnell.

What does Britain need to do to ensure more silverware on the track and at the awards gala in future?

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comment by U9238686

posted Dec 10, 2008

I'd go for Bolt over Phelps

As a great swimmer he can get those numerous golds without changing much in his performace between each event. Thats just the way swimming works. not to say his achievements aren't very special though.

However, Bolt destroyed the world record in arguably the three biggest attraction races at the games, became a global superstar and absolutely shocked everyone who witnessed it. Especially in that 200m final.

Phelps was almost expected to get his golds, would have been more of a shock had he not done so.

That is why Bolt would get my Vote. As his runs were possible the greatest things I have ever witnessed in sport for pure amazament.

THAT drop-goal RWC 03 would be my favourite moment for anyone interested haha. I was there, and I cried

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posted Dec 10, 2008

Bolt should get it for breaking that phenomenal 200m world record alone. But to win three with three world records (when was the last time a world record was broken in one of these events at the Olympics let alone three) is just unheard of.

Swimming is just not as competitive on a global scale. Superb achievement without a doubt but not enough competition and too many close events to compare swimming and running like for like.

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posted Dec 10, 2008

Bolt is athlete of the year, but Phelps needs a special recognition award to make up for it.

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comment by glbqos (U13736379)

posted Dec 10, 2008

how can you say you dont change much between event in swimming? Are you implying that doing an I/M is the same as doing a 200fly? if so that is a lot of rubbish. In my opinion, sprinting for 100 and 200 meters is exactly the same technique wise, all you need to do is run an extra 100, and bareing in mind Phelps does various different evvents at different distances, makes him a a better sportsman by far.

Also Phelphs is the only person in history to win 8 gold medals in the pool, he also broke 7 world records along the way. I agree that is is easier to become a multiple medal winner in the pool, but its certainly not easy to win 8 golds, and in my opinion puts it onto a par with Bolts achievments.

And finally about their personalities. The fact Phelps had to do finals in the morning, and heats later that day, means that he cant get to carried away about winning or get to pumped up before a race as he has several races a day and cant use all his energy on one or two. Bolt on the other hand didn't have this problem so his personality was obvioulsy going to be more outgoing as his sport is not as demanding.

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posted Dec 10, 2008

I think Usain Bolt should win the sport of the year award as he is Jamaican and he broke Michael Johnson's 200m Record nd he broke his own 100m record and Asafa Powell, Nesta Carter, Usain Bolt and Michael Frater broke the 4 x 100m world record. He has done a lot of things in his career and his still has more to come as he is a young guy. Fax the yam at the next OLYMPICS.<biggrin>

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posted Dec 10, 2008

I think Bolt over Phelps.

Whatever swimming fans say about the strokes being different etc, and I accept that, swimming simply can't be as competitive as other sports. If it is then it is an amazing coincidence that so many athletes are able to go for medals in more than 3 or 4 events.

Which other sport lets you do that?

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comment by U9238686

posted Dec 11, 2008

I'm not saying the 100 and 200 are completely different, Im making the point that if there were 6 other running events with slightly dirreing techniques Bolt may have walked off with as many golds as Phelps was able to get

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posted Dec 11, 2008

Well I guess another way of looking at it is this. Phelps' record is unrivalled as he beat Spitz's record so is without doubt a tremendous achievement. However, Bolt's achievement while not unique in gold medal haul (wrt athletics) his world records in EVERY event I believe are, including an absolutely immense record in the 200m. This tips the scales for me. It is also a more competitive arena (competition from a wider base).

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posted Dec 12, 2008

That is harsh, Anyone with any athletics understanding knows what she has done to marathon running

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posted Dec 12, 2008

Bolt all the way, Athletics is a lot more demanding on the body than swimming. It is impossable to enter more than 3 or 4 events in athletics and win them all. Anyway it's all about the 100m 9.59

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