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Gay, Felix honored as top U.S. athletes

20 November 2007

World champions Tyson Gay and Allyson Felix were named winners of the 2007 Jesse Owens Award on Monday as the sport's top U.S. athletes, USA Track & Field announced.

Gay sprinted to 100- and 200-meter world titles and led the U.S. to the 4x100 meter relay gold at the IAAF championships in Osaka, Japan. He also ran the second-fastest 200 meters of all time, 19.62 seconds, at the American championships, where he won the sprint double.

"This [award] is the greatest honor of my career," the 25-year-old Gay said in a statement. "Jesse Owens is a hero of mine for many reasons, and to have my name linked with his, and with the great athletes who have been honored before me, is humbling."

Felix, 21, capped an unbeaten 200-meters season by taking the world title. She also played key roles in U.S. victories in the 4x100- and 4x400-meter relays at Osaka.

"It is a privilege to receive an award with such a rich tradition," said Felix, who also won the award in 2005. "To be recognized in the company of such great champions is truly an honor."

The sprinters will be presented their awards on Dec. 1 at the USATF's annual meeting in Honolulu.

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