Record setting pole vaulter Stacy Dragila (USA) and mile king Hicham El Guerrouj (Morocco) have been named the world’s top track & field athletes for the 2001 season by Track & Field News.
California native Dragila, the first woman vaulter ever to achieve AOY honours, was named No. 1 on 25 of the 34 ballots cast by an international panel of experts in scoring a runaway victory over sprinter Marion Jones. This marks the first time American women have gone 1-2 in the voting since balloting began in 1977. Jones was the AOY choice in 2000, as well as ‘98 and ‘97.
Dragila, 30, set 8 World Records in the pole vault in 2001, 4 indoors and 4 outdoors. The world champion’s highest mark, 15-9 ¼, was set at the GMC Envoy Open at Stanford University in June.
The women’s top 10: 1. Stacy Dragila (US), pole vault; 2. Marion Jones (US), sprints; 3. Olga Yegorova (Russia), distances; 4. Osleidys Menéndez (Cuba), javelin; 5. Tatyana Lebedeva (Russia), triple jump; 6. Violeta Szekely (Romania), 1500 meters/mile; 7. Catherine Ndereba (Kenya), marathon; 8. Maria Mutola (Mozambique) 800 meters; 9. Olimpiada Ivanova (Russia), walks; 10. Derartu Tulu (Ethiopia), distances.
On the men’s side of the voting, El Guerrouj was as overwhelming a choice as Dragila, capturing 24 of 36 votes for No. 1. He returned to the AOY position he also earned in ‘99. Most of the rest of the votes for the top spot, 7, went to American sprinter Maurice Greene, whose season was cut short by injury.
The men’s top 10: 1. Hicham El Guerrouj (Morocco), 1500 meters/mile; 2. Maurice Greene (US), sprints; 3. Jan Zelezny (Czech Republic), javelin; 4. André Bucher (Switzerland) 800 meters; 5. Jonathan Edwards (Great Britain), triple jump; 6. John Godina (US), shot & discus; 7. Tomás Dvorák (Czech Republic), decathlon; 8. Felix Sánchez (Dominican Republic), 400 hurdles; 9. Brahim Boulami (Morocco), steeplechase; 10. Koji Murofushi (Japan), hammer.
Garry Hill (Track and Field News) for the IAAF