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Rediff.com  » Sports » Gatlin, Hayes win Jesse Owens Awards

Gatlin, Hayes win Jesse Owens Awards

November 30, 2004 11:20 IST

Olympic champions Justin Gatlin and Joanna Hayes were announced as recipients of the 2004 Jesse Owens Awards by USA Track & Field (USATF) on Monday.

The awards, named in honour of the late Olympic great who won four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Games, are presented annually to the outstanding U.S. male and female athletes.

Sprinter Gatlin and hurdler Hayes will receive their awards on Friday at the USATF's annual meeting in Portland.

Gatlin, 22, won the closest 100 metres final in Olympic history with a career-best time of 9.85 seconds in Athens. Five men ran under 9.95 seconds in the race.

The American also won a bronze medal in the 200 metres and a silver medal in the 4x100 metres relay, becoming the only male athlete to win three athletics medals at the Athens Games.

Hayes, 27, set an Olympic record of 12.37 seconds in winning the 100 metres hurdles. She is only the second American to win the event.

She was previously best known as a 400 metres hurdler, winning the gold medal at the 2003 Pan American Games.

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