Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Richards named finalist for IAAF 2009 World Female Athlete of the Year

MONTE CARLO, Monaco -- Former University of Texas Women's Track and Field standout Sanya Richards has been named one of five finalists for the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) 2009 World Female Athlete of the Year award, the organization announced.

The winner of the award will be announced on stage during the 2009 World Athletics Gala, which will take place in Monaco, on November 22, 2009. Joining Richards is Yelenea Isinbayeva (pole vault, Russia), Valerie Vili (shot put, New Zealand), Blanka Vlašiæ (high jump, Croatia) and Anita Wlodarczyk (hammer throw, Poland).

Richards capped off a dominating 2009 season when she won her first individual 400m world title at the 2009 IAAF World Track & Field Championships Berlin this past August. The former Longhorn (2003-04) crossed the finish line in a world-leading time of 49.00. She became the first American to land the title since 1993 and also had the fastest time by an American at the event since she finished second in 49.74 at the 2005 Championships. Richards was also part of USA's winning 4x400m relay.

Just a month prior to Berlin, Richards captured her fifth national 400m title at the 2009 U.S. Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

Richards led the world in the event throughout the 2009 season and didn't lose a race after May. She posted seven of the world's top 10 400m times, including the world-best mark of 48.83 and shared the Golden League jackpot of $1 million for the third time by winning all six of her qualifying races.

The IAAF Family votes opened on Monday, Oct. 19, and closed on Sunday, Nov. 8. The IAAF Family vote consisted of a list of 1799 recipients including IAAF & IAF Council Members, IAAF Member Federations, IAAF Committee & Commission Members, IAAF Meeting Directors, IAAF Ambassadors, Leading Athletes, Athletes' Representatives, IAAF Staff Members and selected members of the International Press.