By Roslyn Morris, AIPS Secretary General
LAUSANNE, December 29, 2012 – A panel of 450 sports journalists from 100 countries have deemed self-proclaimed Jamaican sprint legend Usain Bolt to be the world’s top male athlete of 2012.
Bolt, with 33.62% of the vote and a total of 1381 points was streets ahead of US super fish Michael Phelps 11.43% and 468 points, and World No. 1 tennis star, Serbia’s Novak Djokovic who garnered 10.26% of the poll and a total of 422 points.
This year’s poll was conducted in for the first time in collaboration with Europe’s leading television sports network Eurosport which ran a “Fans’ Choice” vote on its Facebook page attracting more than 63,000 votes.
The results for the AIPS top female athletes of 2012 were much closer than their male counterparts. Serena Williams received 15.78% of the vote and 635 points ahead of London 2012 heptathlon superstar Great Britain’s Jessica Ennis 545 points and 13.55% of the poll. London 2012 200m gold medalist Allyson Felix from the USA came a close third with 525 Points and 13.17% of votes cast.
Williams had a cracker year winning 7 WTA singles titles including the Wimbledon and US Open Grand Slam titles. She also won her first Olympic gold singles medal, an Olympic gold doubles medal with partner sister Venus, as well as the overall WTA championship title.
Best Team accolade goes to the Spain national football side who were successful in winning their second UEFA Euro in a row and their third major prize in succession (Euro 2008, World Cup 2010, Euro 2012).
Spain on 993 Points (25.09%) beat Barcelona FC who were close on their heels at 921 Points (23.23%), with the USA National Men’s Basketball Team in third place on 417 Points and 10.51% of the vote.
Best Press Facilities Award
Jayne Pearce and her team at London 2012 Press Operations will be thrilled to know that London 2012 Olympic Games took out the AIPS Best Press Facilities Award with 1296 point and 38.45% of the vote, well ahead of the Euro 2012 Football tournament 550 points and 16.25%, and Wimbledon Tennis Championships – 509 points and 15.04% of the total vote.
AIPS members from the following nations participated in the 2012 poll:
Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cameroun, Canada, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Dr Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Great Britain, Greece, Grenada, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Libya, Luxembourg, Macau, Madagascar, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Somalia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, USA.
1st were alloted 5 points, 2nd 3 points and 3rd place received 1 point.
Eurosport Fans’ Choice Awards
In the Eurosport Fans’ Choice Awards Usain Bolt who secured an incredible three gold medals in London and broadcast on Eurosport, a repeat of his performance at Beijing 2008, dominated the men’s category of the poll, receiving 40.81% of votes ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo (16.71%) and Yannick Agnel (9.53%).
British heroine Jessica Ennis, winner of heptathlon gold in her home Olympics, scored 38.21% in the women’s category, edging out Serena Williams (30.61%) and Marit Bjoergen (10.73%).
An outstanding Spain side clinched their third consecutive international men’s football trophy at UEFA EURO 2012, also broadcast on Eurosport. They won 42.34% of the team vote while the USA men’s basketball side took 14.22% and FC Barcelona 13.91%.
“2012 has been a fantastic year for sport and we are proud Eurosport has broadcast and reported on so many major events to offer fans the greatest coverage possible. Athletes such as Bolt, Ennis and the Spanish footballers have had an exceptional year even by their own high standards and this is reflected by their success in the public and expert vote. We look forward to seeing them in action on Eurosport in 2013,” said Eurosport spokesperson Heather Bowler, Global Communications Director.