2021 #VOICED AWARDS

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2021 has been an exciting year in the world of athletics! We have witnessed 21 World Records, 6 Olympic Records and the crowning of 49 Olympic champions – as well as moments of deep emotion and acts of incredible sportsmanship.

To celebrate the athletics community and all it stands for, we are excited to announce the inaugural #VOICED AWARDS. Over the last few days, we have shared the performances and moments that made us all be grateful to be members of this incredible sport.

Agency with most Olympic medals

Global Sports Communication

It is every athlete’s dream to represent their country on the world’s biggest stage the Olympics, and winning an Olympic medal is the ultimate achievement. As every athlete knows, it takes a team to make this dream come true, and a world class management agency is key component of that team.

Global Sports Communication is one such agency.

In Tokyo2020 athletes represented by the agency won a total of 16 medals  – the most by any agency at the Games. Medallists included Sifan Hassan, Joshua Cheptegei, Eliud Kipchoge, Faith Kipyegon, Abdi Nageeye, Paul Chelimo, Letesenbet Gidey, Hyvin Kiyeng, Peruth Chemutaii, Lijiao Gong, Liu Shiying, Terrence Agard and Isaac Makwala.

Well done to the GSC team!

Athlete with Best Swag

Raven Saunders

Looking for cool? Look no further than athletics. From neon coloured hair to multi-coloured nails to stylish sunglasses, you name it, we got it.

But one athlete that stood out above the rest was Shot Put Olympic silver medallist Raven Saunders. She walked out to compete at the Games in a series of face masks inspire by Marvel Comics characters including the Hulk and the Joker from Batman, with her hair died green and purple. However, it is not just her outfit that deserves praise, but also Raven’s dedication and commitment to giving a voice to the disempowered, and standing up for social and racial justice. Now that’s real swag.

Best Training Group

MVP Track Club

Team Jamaica had a total of 9 medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and MVP Track Club produced 4 out of the 7 individual Olympic medals.

The athletes train under the guidance of Stephen Paul Francis, and Brigitte Foster Hylton:

Elaine Thompson-Herah – 100m, 200m and 4x100m Gold

Ronald Levy – 110mH Bronze

Shericka Jackson – 100m Bronze; 4x100m Gold and 4x400m Bronze

Janieve Russell – 4x400m Bronze

Junelle Bromfield – 4x400m Bronze

Natasha Morrison – 4x400m Bronze

Well done to the MVP Track Club team!

Athlete

Biggest Upset

Soufiane El Bakkali

Kenya has dominated the men’s 3000m steeplechase with Kenyan athletes winning nine consecutive Olympic titles over 40 years.

But then came Tokyo 2020.

In a tightly contested final Morocco’s Soufiane El Bakkali broke this winning streak by outpacing his rivals in the last lap, taking home the gold medal, becoming the first non-Kenyan-born athlete to win a gold in this event at the Olympics or World Championships since 1987.

Best Show of mental toughness

Elaine Thompson- Herah

At Tokyo 2020 Elaine became the first woman in history (and only the second sprinter after Usain Bolt) to win the ‘sprint double’ at consecutive Olympics.

The journey to the double wasn’t an easy one though. Elaine had numerous injuries and only finished 5th and 4th in the 100m finals at the 2017 and 2019 World Championships respectively. But in a great show of mental toughness, she stood behind the blocks in Tokyo determined to take home gold despite the difficult years and mounting pressure to perform. She says “Disappointment makes you better and stronger. I have learnt how to use the disappointment to motivate me, keep working hard and getting better.”

Best Show of Sportmanship

Mutaz Essa Barshim and Gianmarco Tamberi

“Can we have two golds?”

Who will ever forget this sentence?

It was the moment we witnessed friendship triumph over competition and rivalry, a moment that represents all the Olympics stands for.

Neither Mutaz nor Gianmarco missed a jump in the Olympic Final up to 2.37m.

Then both missed 3 times at 2.39m, effectively leaving them tied for first place. As the officials began to arrange a jump off, in an act that still gives us goosebumps thinking about it, the two jumpers asked if they could share the gold instead.

The medals were the first ever Gold in the men’s high jump for both Italy and Qatar – and reminded us of what is actually important: friendship, respect and sharing of joy.

Best event

400mH

The 400m hurdles was undoubtedly the outstanding event of 2021 – producing 4 stellar world records and some of the most “Did they just do that?” moments.

In what has been described as one of the greatest races in Olympic history, the men’s Olympic final was one of the few times in which all three medallists broke the existing Olympic record and the top two finishers also broke the existing world record.

Karsten Warholm of Norway was crowned Olympic champion, setting a new world record of 45.94. He beat his own previous record, set a month before, by 0.76 seconds; silver medallist Rai Benjamin  beat the previous record by 0.53 seconds. Brazilian hurdler Alison dos Santos took bronze. The medals were the first ever in the event for both Norway and Brazil.

The women’s event was also nothing short of spectacular. At the U.S. Olympic trials in June 2021 Sydney McLaughlin became the first woman ever to dip under 52 seconds when she ran 51.90, improving the previous world record of 52.16 secs held by Dalilah Muhammad.

In the Olympic final, both Sydney and Dalilah ran inside the world record, with Sydney winning the gold in a world record time of 51.46, while 2016 Olympic champion Dalilah took the silver in 51.58.  Femke Bol broke the European record with 52.03 for the bronze and moved to third on the world all-time list. The national records for Colombia, Belgium and Panama were set during the Olympics.

Most unique event

Adizero: Road to Records 

Adizero Road to Records was staged with the sole purpose of breaking world records, with all athletes racing in the Adidas running signature shoe. The event promised fast times and it certainly delivered!

Senbere Teferi was up first, breaking the world record in the women’s 5km in a time of 14:29. Next up was the late Agnes Jebet Tirop, lighting up the course in the women’s 10km breaking the world record in a time of 30:01. Not to be outdone, 10km World record-holder Rhonex Kipruto won the men’s 10km in 26:43, the fourth-fastest time in history.

We look forward to what the event has in store in the future.

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