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Athletics takes the podium in Sportel

Athletics heads the podium in Sportel

29 September 1999 - Opened on Monday by Prince Albert of Monaco, accompanied by IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch, IAAF President Primo Nebiolo and the Prince de Merode, the 10th edition of Sportel is the centre of the world market for the sale of television rights for international sports events.

This annual event, which this year will be attended by an estimated 1500 professionals with over 130 exhibitors, including for the first time this year the International Amateur Athletic Federation. The IAAF stand is chiefly focussed on the recent 7th IAAF World Championships in Athletics - Sevilla 99, which achieved some of the highest TV ratings world wide of any sporting event in 1999.

More recognition was forthcoming from the professionals of the small screen, who awarded Athletics images two "Golden Podium" awards (Sports TV's equivalent of the Oscar): for the Sports TV Image of 1999 - to "Michael Johnson's World Record" (produced by Spanish TV producer Jaime Garrigo for RTVE) and the Best Slow Motion Sequence - to "The Fall of Marion Jones" by France Television's William Soliveras.

In addition to the two George Bertellotti Golden Podium Awards (named after Sportel co-founder George Bertellotti, who died earlier this year), the Jury's Special Award went to Russia's NTV+, for their production "Fans of the Stands" a montage of a high jump by Russian athlete Vyacheslav Voronin interspersed with images of young fans watching and a small boy repeating the athlete's actions.

The prizes were presented at a gala dinner in the Monte Carlo Sporting Club's "Salle des Etoiles" on Tuesday evening.