Jamaican sprint champion Bolt, finalist for 2009 Laureus World Sports Award

KINGSTON, Jamaica – 2008 Olympic champions Usain Bolt, Yelena Isinbayeva and Tirunesh Dibaba are among the finalists for the 2009 Laureus World Sport Award, the organisation announced today.

Bolt took the entire sporting world by storm in Beijing last summer when he captured gold medals in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m Relay with World record performances.

Isinbayeva, 26, defended her Olympic title in Beijing with yet another World record. Isinbayeva is a previous recipient of the Sportswoman of the Year award, winning the honour in 2006.

With a dominating performance in the Chinese capital, Dibaba the first woman to claim the 5000m and 10,000m double at the same Olympic Games.

Both Bolt and Isinbayeva were named World Athletes of the Year for 2008 at the World Athletics Gala in Monaco last November.

Also nominated for the World Team of the Year prize was Jamaica’s Olympic sprint relay squad.

“This has been a great year for sport and the Academy are going to find it extremely difficult to decide who to vote for as winners,” said Laureus World Sports Academy Chairman Edwin Moses, a former World record holder in the 400m Hurdles and two-time Olympic champion. “This is always the case in an Olympics year, but we have has some very strong performances from the non-Olympic sports. I congratulate all the nominees.”

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