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Rediff.com  » Sports » Sprinter Gay, swimmer Hoff win top US honours

Sprinter Gay, swimmer Hoff win top US honours

January 18, 2008 11:09 IST

Track and field world champion Tyson Gay and swimmer Katie Hoff have been named the US Olympic Committee (USOC) sportsman and sportswoman of 2007, the organisation announced on Thursday.

The USOC also named wheelchair track and field athlete Jessica Galli its Paralympian of the year and the U.S. women's world championships gymnastics squad its team of the year.

Swimmer Michael Phelps and track and field sprinter Allyson Felix were selected as the USOC's first outstanding performers of the year.

"These individuals have truly demonstrated the strength and character of our athletes who will represent the United States in China (at the Beijing Olympics)," USOC Chief Executive Officer Jim Scherr said in a statement.

Gay won three gold medals at the IAAF world championships. He beat Jamaican world record holder Asafa Powell in the 100 metres, then broke Michael Johnson's championship record in the 200 and led the US to victory in the 4x100 metres relay.

Hoff, who also won the award in 2005, set a world record in winning the 400 metres individual medley at the world championships. She anchored the US team which set a world record in the 800 metres freestyle relay and won the 200 individual medley in Melbourne.

Galli, a two-times US Paralympian, set world records in the 200, 400 and 800 metres.

The gymnastics squad became only the second U.S. team to claim the women's world title.

Swimmer Phelps competed in seven events at the world championships and won gold in all. He set four individual and one team world record in becoming the winningest athlete in world championships history.

Felix won the 200 metres and sparked the U.S. 4x100 and 4x400 metres relay teams to victory to become only the second woman to win three gold medals at the same world outdoor track and field championships.