Paula Radcliffe arrives for the World Sports Awards (© Getty Images/ Laureus)
Last night at the Laureus World Sports Awards, which took place at Monte-Carlo’s Grimaldi Forum in the presence of HSH Prince Albert of Monaco, Athletics super stars Marion Jones (USA) and Paula Radcliffe (GBR), who had been nominated for the World Sportswoman of the Year award, finished as runners up to USA’s Serena Williams, who currently holds all four Grand Slam tennis titles.
During a three hour spectacular, at which the IAAF was represented by General Secretary Istvan Gyulai (HUN), some of Athletics’ greatest names both current and former stars of track and field, played a significant role in the proceedings.
The Laureus Academy and Foundation Chairman, twice World and Olympic 400m Hurdles champion Edwin Moses (USA), was joined on stage by fellow academy members who included IAAF Council members Sergey Bubka (UKR) and Nawal El Moutawakel (MAR), Sebastian Coe (GBR), Michael Johnson (USA), Kip Keino (KEN), and Daley Thompson (GBR), all Olympic gold medallists during their own illustrious track and field careers.
Both Bubka and Johnson were also involved with the presentations, the former presenting the award for Best Comeback of the Year to Brazil’s football star Ronaldo, and the latter hosting a film summary of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation’s work during the year.
Amongst a montage of other film clips which were part of the entertainment last night, the audience was treated to archive shots of the Olympic Games as far back as 1908, and bringing the Athletics references right up to date, film of Tim Montgomery’s 9.78 World 100m record set at the IAAF Grand Prix Final on 14 September last year, was also shown.