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Bolt and Isinbayeva scoop awards

Yelena Isinbayeva and Usain Bolt
Isinbayeva and Bolt have both enjoyed success in 2008

Usain Bolt and Yelena Isinbayeva have been named as male and female athletes of the year by the International Association of Athletics Federations.

The Jamaican sprinter and Russian pole vaulter took the awards as well as 67,000 each at a ceremony in Monaco for their superb Olympic displays.

Bolt, 22, became the first man in history to break world records in all three sprint events at a single Games.

Isinbayeva, 26, raised the world record to 5.05m to retain her Olympic title.

Bolt broke the 100m world record of 9.74 seconds held by compatriot Asafa Powell earlier in the season but he again eclipsed the new mark by clocking 9.69 in Beijing.

He then broke Michael Johnson's world record of 19.32 in the final of the 200m by lowering it to 19.30 before leading Jamaica's 4x100m sprint relay to Olympic victory in a record time of 37.10.

"I have a motto that anything is possible, but this really is such an honour," said Bolt, who became Jamaica's first Olympic 100m champion.

"Just to be included with every great name in the sport is wonderful. I'll try to do it year after year."

Isinbayeva, who took athlete of the year honours in 2004 and 2005, added: "I'm very proud. It feels like the first time."

During the season the Russia raised her own world record in the pole vault three times, first to 5.03 metres in Rome and 5.04 in Monaco in June and then at Beijing - her 24th world best mark.

Isinbayeva just edged out Ethiopian distance runner Tirunesh Dibaba, who produced an unprecedented Olympic double victory in the 5000 and 10,000 metres in Beijing.

Cuban 110m hurdler Dayron Robles won the male performance of the year award after setting a new world record of 12.87sec as well as claiming the Olympic title.

Dibaba and Barbora Spotakova, of the Czech Republic, who set a new world record after claiming the Olympic javelin title, took the women's equivalent.

Pamela Jelimo, who won the 800m Olympic title at the age of 18, was given the revelation of the year award.


IAAF Award winners

Male world athlete: Usain Bolt (Jam)

Female world athlete: Yelena Isinbayeva (Rus)

Male performance: Dayron Robles (Cub)

Female performance: Tirunesh Dibaba (Eth)/ Barbora Spotakova (Cze)

Revelation of the year: Pamela Jelimo (Ken)

Distinguished Career award: Kajsa Bergqvist (Swe)/Stefan Holm (Swe)/Jefferson Perez (Ecu)

Inspirational award: Henry Rono (Ken)

80 Years of Women Athletes at the Olympic Games: Jackie Joyner-Kersee (USA)

Special Olympic award: Usain Bolt (Jam)/Tirunesh Dibaba (Eth)/Yelena Isinbayeva (Rus)/Francoise Mbango (Cmr)/Angelo Taylor (USA)/Andreas Thorkildsen (Nor)


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see also
Isinbayeva wins with new record
18 Aug 08 |  Athletics
Bolt grabs third gold and record
22 Aug 08 |  Athletics
Olympics boss rebukes showy Bolt
21 Aug 08 |  Athletics
Bolt claims 200m gold with record
20 Aug 08 |  Athletics
Bolt surges to gold in new record
16 Aug 08 |  Athletics
Athletics on the BBC
28 Oct 08 |  Athletics
Contact TV team
08 Apr 08 |  Athletics


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