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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bolt and Gay nominated for IAAF Male Athlete of the Year

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) announced its nominations for 2009 Athlete of Year on Monday. Selected using a poll of IAAF members, the five male finalists include:

* Usain Bolt -- Based on his popularity and spectacular year, Bolt is the front runner for this year's award. The Jamaican sprinter set three world records at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and then went on to break his records in the 100 and 200 meters at the world championships in Berlin this August.

* Tyson Gay -- The American sprinter was the 2007 IAAF Athlete of the Year and is the American record holder in the 100 meters.
* Kenenisa Bekele -- Bekele, an Ethiopian distance runner, holds the Olympic and world records in the 5,000 meters and the 10,000 meters. He is also an accomplished cross country runner having been the five time short (4k) and six time long (12k) course winner at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships.
* Steve Hooker -- The Australian pole vaulter won gold at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and at the world championships this year in Berlin.
* Andreas Thorkildsen -- The Norwegian is the first male javelin thrower to become European champion, Olympic champion and world champion.

The winners will be announced on November 22, 2009.