Looking back at the 20007-08 season, the MVP race is heating up as there are a number of worthy candidates which makes the debate both difficult and exciting.
Typically people compare times, wins, and overrall performances like clutch races or relative ability to deliver for their respective countries at the Beijing Games. The measuring stick this time around may be who made the largest impact on track and field.
In the running for the 2008 World Athletes of the Year are Ethopia's Tirunesh Dibaba, Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia, and Kenya's Pamela Jelimo. The winners will be announced live, on stage, during the 2008 World Athletics Gala, which will take place in Monaco, on 23 November 2008.
Isinbayeva raised the bar during the season. While also raising questions about whether she is the great female competitor of a generation as she again increased her world record in winning her second Olympic gold medal. At season's end the Russian pole vault record stands at 16 feet, 6.8 inches.
In the process of putting up the fastest time the event has seen in 10 years, Olympic champion (1:54.01) Pamela Jelimo completed one of the best season an 800-meter has ever seen. The 18 year-old is the first Kenyan woman to win an Olympic gold medal and also the first Kenyan to win the Golden League Jackpot. Jelimo collected a $1 million jackpot by winning all her event in all six of the IAAF Golden League meets.
Who has accomplished more in a season? Ethopia's Tirunesh Dibaba trademark is a hammering last lap in the 5,000 and 10,000-meters. She broke the 5,000-meter world record by over five minutes in June and swept the 5,000 and 10,000-meters in Beijing.
Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.