January 2, 2009
Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt outpolled swimmer Michael Phelps of Rodgers Forge in a vote for the 2008 Athlete of the Year by the international media. Olympic pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva took the top place as Sportswoman of the Year, and Spain's soccer team was voted Team of the Year for winning the European Championship. In a poll by the International Sports Press Association, journalists from 96 nations gave Bolt 1,673 points to 1,557 for Phelps. Bolt won three gold medals, setting world records in the 100 meters, 200 and 400 relay in Beijing. Phelps made history by winning eight golds for the U.S.
Horse racing: From 2002 to 2005, owner Michael Gill won more than 500 times at Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course. Yesterday, Gill prevailed twice on opening day of the winter meet at Laurel, winning with Elliot's Exchange in the second race and Communicated in the sixth for trainer Tim Hooper. Gill scaled back his operations in 2006 and 2007 but about six months ago began replenishing his stock at Elk Creek Ranch Training Center in Pennsylvania.
More horse racing: In Summation won the $100,000 El Conejo Handicap for the second consecutive year, defeating Machismo by a length at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif. Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, In Summation covered 5 1/2 furlongs in 1 minute, 2.58 seconds.
Tennis: Andy Murray beat James Blake, 6-2, 6-2, to set up a semifinal meeting with Roger Federer in the Capitala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. In the other first-round match, Nikolay Davydenko ousted Andy Roddick, 6-4, 6-4, and will face Rafael Nadal in today's other semifinal. Nadal and Federer received first-round byes in the exhibition event, which is not part of the ATP Tour but offers a winner-take-all prize of $250,000.
From Sun staff and news services
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