World athletes of the year
World Athletes of the Year: Rudisha and Vlasic Scoop Top Awards
Herzogenaurach, November 22nd 2010 – adidas track and field stars David Rudisha and Blanka Vlasic have capped a glorious 2010 by being named the World Athletes of the Year. The result of the sport’s most prestigious poll was announced at the IAAF World Athletics Gala in Monaco on Sunday, November 21st.
At 21, Rudisha is the youngest ever winner of the men’s award while Vlasic was recognised as the supreme woman athlete after having dominated the high jump for the last four years.
In all, half of the 10 athletes nominated for the awards represent adidas. The others were the American 100m record holder, Tyson Gay; the world’s leading female sprinter, Veronica Campbell-Brown; and world heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis.
Rudisha wrote the boldest headlines in 2010, twice breaking one of the sport’s most prestigious and longest-standing world records, the 800m. Such was the quality of the old record for the two-lap race that when the Kenyan broke it for the first time he became just the third man to have improved the mark in the last 33 years.
Vlasic’s achievements go hand-in-hand with a “stage” presence that is shared by just a few of the finest entertainers in the worlds of art and music. The Croatian, who turned 27 earlier this month, has won four world titles since 2007 – two indoors and two out – yet it was her appearance in front of her home crowd in Split right at the end of the season at the Continental Cup in September which made the greatest emotional impact and ultimately stole the hearts of the sport’s fans.
Vlasic’s victory in Split saw her match the year’s world leading performance of 2.05m and prompted her to declare, “This made everything worth it. I could retire tomorrow and I would have no regrets.”