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Powell, Simpson among those in line for IAAF Athlete of the Year award

13 October 2006

By Gary Smith

Jamaican sprinter and 100m world record holder, Asafa Powell and compatriot, Sherone Simpson, who both recorded the best season thus far in their respective careers in this past campaign, are among the athletes in line to win the IAAF 2006 Male and Female World Athlete of the Year award.

Powell, who equalled the 9.77 seconds world record mark he shares with American Justin Gatlin twice this season, will be up against other outstanding athletes such as American World and Olympic 400m champion Jeremy Wariner, Chinese Olympic gold medallist and world record holder over 110m Hurdles, Liu Xiang as well as Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, the 2004 winner.

Also among the candidates on the male side are Virgilijus Alekna (LTU), Tyson Gay (USA), Irving Saladino (PAN), Isaac Kiprono Songok (KEN), Saif Saaeed Shaheen (QAT) and Andreas Thorkildsen (NOR).

On the women’s side, Simpson, who led the world in both the 100m and 200m sprints with career bests of 10.82secs and 22.00secs, will be up against Russian multi-World Pole Vault record holder, Yelena Isinbayeva and Jamaican-born American quarter miler Sanya Richards.

Ethiopians Meseret Defar and Tirunesh Dibaba, in addition to Tatyana Lebedeva of Russia and Swedish World Indoor High Jump record holder Kajsa Bergqvist, should make things interesting.

The athletes were chosen from the Top 10 list of male and female in the IAAF Overall World Rankings before October 2.

According to the IAAF “a shortlist of 3 will then be presented to a Special Jury of the International Athletic Foundation, who will then make a final selection of Athlete of the Year and announce the winners.”

The announcement is scheduled to be aired live on stage, at the 2006 IAAF World Athletics Gala in Monaco on November 12.

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