Tyson Gay and Meseret Defar’s pockets are fatter. $100,000 fatter to be exact. The money is part of the prize for being named male and female World Athlete of the Year.
Gay added hardware to his trophy case on Sunday. He has left space in his case for a little bling: Olympic gold. In the mean time, this will do until next summer.
The setting was stunning. Gay stood in front of his peers, Jeremy Wariner, Xiang Liu, Tommy Smith, Lee Evans and Carl Lewis in Monaco at the prestigious World Athletics Gala to be recognized as the male World Athlete of the Year .
The star-studded audience also included International Assocation of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Foundation Honorary President HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco.
Gay acknowledged that holding the World Record is important to his legacy to be considered among the greats at the end of his career.
The World champion sprinter and middle-distance runner Meseret Defar took home female World Athlete of the Year. The special night was only fitting for her history making season.
Defar is the first Ethiopian woman to win the award, and she was proud to accept the accolades. In 2007, she set the two mile World Record while going undefeated for both the indoor and outdoor seasons.
Last years recipients were Asafa Powell and Sanya Richards.
By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist