Best Black Boxes For 2006

Updated: November 13, 2006



Two Black athletes

One Jamaican

One American

One Female

One Male

Sunday it was announced they been awarded the prestigious International Association of Athletics Federations’ Athletes of the Year. Two young track stars Asafa Powell of the Island Kingdom of Jamaica, and Sandra Richards of these United States. Together athletics at their Best.

Here is the Reuters release ….

MONACO (Reuters) – Sprinters Asafa Powell of Jamaica and Sanya Richards of the United States were named as the International Association of Athletics Federations’ athletes of the year on Sunday.

Powell, 23, twice equaled the world 100 meters record of 9.77 seconds he set last year. He won 16 races and a share of the $1 million IAAF Golden League Jackpot after winning all six races in Golden League competitions.

Richards, 21, was undefeated over 400 meters outdoors and also captured a $250,000 share of the Golden League Jackpot. She won 13 races, including the year’s five fastest performances capped by an American record of 48.70 at the World Cup in Athens in September.

The previous record of 48.83 was set by Valerie Brisco at the 1984 Olympic Games, six months before Richards was born. Her performance was the fastest in the world since the 1996 Olympic Games.

Two world record breakers were given awards for performances of the year. Liu Xiang of China clocked 12.88 seconds in the 110 meters hurdles in Lausanne and Meseret Defar of Ethiopia ran 14 minutes 24.53 seconds over 5,000 meters in New York City.

And this from the BBC …

Asafa Powell and Sanya Richards have been named as the International Association of Athletics Federations’ World Athletes of the Year for 2006.

Powell claimed his first major 100m gold for Jamaica at the Commonwealth Games in March and remained unbeaten in all 16 finals he contested. The 23-year-old also twice equaled his own 100m world record of 9.77 seconds.

Richards, 21, was also unbeaten over 400m and clocked 48.70 seconds to break the 22-year-old American record. That time, set during the World Cup final in Athens, broke Valerie Brisco-Hooks’ mark from the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

Richards, who is coached by Michael Johnson and Olympic 400m champion Jeremy Wariner’s coach Clyde Hart, also moved to seventh on the all-time list. “I was pleasantly surprised to win the award because I was up against two phenomenal athletes,” Richards told BBC Sport. “But I wouldn’t say it was a complete surprise as I have worked really hard and my Dad kept telling me what I needed to do this season. “I was able to break the American record and that has been my highlight because I knew I could do it.”

Powell and Richards, along with Wariner, also won all six prestigious Golden League meetings to share the jackpot. Powell was in imperious form all season, dipping under 10 seconds in 12 finals.

The Commonwealth champion remarkably matched his world record in June on a Gateshead track not known for fast times and then repeated the feat at the Zurich Golden League in August. “Last year I wanted to win this title but I didn’t because I got injured,” said Powell. “This year I worked hard and I’m thankful to get this award. It is a major accomplishment to realize that people recognize the hard work I put into the sport and they actually vote for me.

“Next year, I’ll work even harder and hopefully win the world title. “Zurich is definitely the best memory of my 2006 season. It’s a race that I won’t forget. “Brussels was another good moment, I know it would have been another world record if I hadn’t had such a bad start.”

Powell piped two-time Olympic discus champion Virgilijus Alekna and Liu Xiang, who broke the 110m hurdle world record this season, to the men’s award. Richards won the IAAF vote ahead of Commonwealth 200m champion Sherone Simpson and Ethiopian Meseret Defar, who set a new world 5,000m record.

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Congratulations Both !

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