Asafa Powell - back in Jamaica, Sanya Richards to return home as well


AsafaPowell_SportsJamaicaWorld.jpgJamaican world 100-metre record holder Asafa Powell returned home on Monday night after he was awarded the title of 2006 World Athletes of the Year along with a cheque for US$100,000 at the prestigious 2006 World Athletics Gala in the Salle des Etoiles of the Sporting Club d'Ete', Monte-Carlo on Sunday.

The annual global awards ceremony for athletics was hosted by International Athletic Foundation (IAF) Honorary President HSM Prince Albert II of Monaco and IAF and IAAF President Lamine Diack, in the presence of 600 distinguished guests.

Powell, who this year won a share of the IAAF Golden League Jackpot, sped to a record (12) sub-10 second clockings for 100m including twice equaling his own World Record (9.77).

Powell said that he went after the award this year after injury had grounded him in 2005.

He said: "last year I wanted to win this title but I didn't because I got injured. This year I worked hard and I'm thankful to get this award. It is a major accomplishment to realize that people recognize the hard work that I put in the sport and they actually vote for me. Next year, I'll work even harder and hopefully win the World title.
"Zurich is definitely the best memory of my 2006 season. It's a race that I won't forget. Brussels is also another good moment, I know it would have been another World record if I hadn't had such a bad start."

Meanwhile, Jamaican-born Sanya Richards, who took the title among the females is expected in the island before the end of the week.
Richards, now competing for the U.S.A., also won a share of the Golden League Jackpot. She took 15 straight victories at 400m including breaking the 22-year-old American record with 48.70 to become the seventh fastest woman of all-time.