2009 in the sport of athletics

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2009 in athletics
Berliner Olympiastadion night.jpg
Major world events2009 World Championships
World records set9
IAAF Athletes of the YearUsain Bolt
Sanya Richards
World Marathon Majors winnersSamuel Wanjiru
Irina Mikitenko
Defunct competitionsIAAF World Athletics Final
IAAF Golden League

This article contains an overview of the year 2009 in athletics.

The major competition of the year was the 2009 World Championships in Athletics. At the event, Usain Bolt reaffirmed himself as one of the world's foremost athletes with world records in the 100 and 200 metres. Caster Semenya won 800 m gold at the championships, but a request that she submit to a gender verification test was made public, sparking widespread controversy and debate. Yelena Isinbayeva, a clear favourite, finished last in the pole vault competition, but rebounded with a world record a week later.

Kenenisa Bekele, Sanya Richards and Isinbayeva were the winners of the last IAAF Golden League jackpot, as the series was replaced by the IAAF Diamond League in 2010.[1]

Major events[edit]




World records[edit]


Event Athlete Nation Performance Place Date
100 m Usain Bolt  Jamaica 9.58 Berlin, Germany August 16
200 m 19.19 August 20
10 km (road) Micah Kogo  Kenya 27:01 Brunssum, Netherlands March 29
15 km (road) Deriba Merga  Ethiopia 41.29+ =WR Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates February 20
30 km (road) Haile Gebrselassie  Ethiopia 1:27:49+ Berlin Marathon, Germany September 20
4×1500 metres relay William Biwott Tanui
Gideon Gathimba
Geoffrey Kipkoech Rono
Augustine Kiprono Choge
 Kenya 14:36.23 Brussels, Belgium September 4


Event Athlete Nation Performance Place Date
5000 m (indoor) Meseret Defar  Ethiopia 14:24.37 Stockholm, Sweden February 18
15 km (road) Tirunesh Dibaba  Ethiopia 46:28 Nijmegen, Netherlands November 15
Pole vault Yelena Isinbayeva  Russia 5.06 m Zürich, Switzerland August 28
Pole vault (indoor) Yelena Isinbayeva  Russia 4.97 m Donetsk, Ukraine February 15
5.00 m
Hammer throw Anita Wlodarczyk  Poland 77.96 m Berlin, Germany August 22

Season's bests[edit]

Best marks of the year
Event Men Women
Athlete Mark Notes Athlete Mark Notes
60 metres  Dwain Chambers (GBR) 6.42 s AR  Carmelita Jeter (USA) 7.11 s
100 metres  Usain Bolt (JAM) 9.58 s WR  Carmelita Jeter (USA) 10.64 s
200 metres  Usain Bolt (JAM) 19.19 s WR  Allyson Felix (USA) 21.88 s
400 metres  LaShawn Merritt (USA) 44.06 s  Sanya Richards (USA) 48.83
800 metres  David Rudisha (KEN) 1:42.01 AR  Caster Semenya (RSA) 1:55.45
1500 metres  Augustine Choge (KEN) 3:29.47  Maryam Yusuf Jamal (BHR) 3:56.55
3000 metres  Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) 7:28.37  Meseret Defar (ETH) 8:26.99 i
5000 metres  Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) 12:52.32  Meseret Defar (ETH) 14:24.37 i
10,000 metres  Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) 26:46.31  Meselech Melkamu (ETH) 29:53.80
60 metres hurdles  Terrence Trammell (USA) 7.37  Lolo Jones (USA) 7.82
100/110 metres hurdles  Dayron Robles (CUB) 13.04 s  Brigitte Foster-Hylton (JAM) 12.46
400 metres hurdles  Kerron Clement (USA) 47.91 s  Melaine Walker (JAM) 52.42
3000 metres steeplechase  Ezekiel Kemboi (KEN) 7:58.85  Marta Domínguez (ESP) 9:07.32
10 kilometres  Micah Kogo (KEN) 27:01 WR  Mary Keitany (KEN) 31:04
15 kilometres  Deriba Merga (ETH) 41:29+ WR  Tirunesh Dibaba (ETH) 46:28 WR
20 kilometres  Haile Gebrselassie (ETH)
 Sammy Kitwara (KEN)
56:48+  Mary Keitany (KEN) 1:02:59+
Half marathon  Patrick Makau (KEN) 58:52  Mary Keitany (KEN) 1:06:36
25 kilometres  Haile Gebrselassie (ETH)
 John Kales (KEN)
 Samuel Kosgei (KEN)
1:13:09+  Peninah Jerop Arusei (KEN) 1:22:31
30 kilometres  Haile Gebrselassie (ETH)
 Samuel Kosgei (KEN)
1:27:49+ WR  Irina Mikitenko (GER)
 Mara Yamauchi (GBR)
Marathon  Duncan Kibet (KEN)
 James Kwambai (KEN)
2:04:27  Irina Mikitenko (GER) 2:22:11
20 kilometres race walk  Valeriy Borchin (RUS) 1:17:38  Olga Kaniskina (RUS) 1:24:56
50 kilometres race walk  Sergey Kirdyapkin (RUS) 3:38:35
Pole vault  Steven Hooker (AUS) 6.06 i  Yelena Isinbayeva (RUS) 5.06
High jump  Ivan Ukhov (RUS) 2.40 i  Blanka Vlašić (CRO) 2.08
Long jump  Dwight Phillips (USA) 8.74  Brittney Reese (USA) 7.10
Triple jump  Phillips Idowu (GBR) 17.73  Nadezhda Alekhina (RUS) 15.14
Shot put  Christian Cantwell (USA) 22.16  Valerie Vili (NZL) 21.07
Discus throw  Gerd Kanter (EST) 71.64  Yanfeng Li (CHN) 66.40
Javelin throw  Andreas Thorkildsen (NOR) 91.28  Maria Abakumova (RUS) 68.92
Hammer throw
 Primož Kozmus (SLO) 82.58  Anita Wlodarczyk (POL) 77.96 WR
Heptathlon  Jessica Ennis (GBR) 6731
 Trey Hardee (USA) 8790
4×100 metres relay  Jamaica
Steve Mullings
Michael Frater
Usain Bolt
Asafa Powell
37.31  United States
Lauryn Williams
Allyson Felix
Muna Lee
Carmelita Jeter
4×400 metres relay  United States
Angelo Taylor
Jeremy Wariner
Kerron Clement
LaShawn Merritt
2:57.86  United States
Debbie Dunn
Allyson Felix
Lashinda Demus
Sanya Richards



Phillips Idowu - the European Athlete of the year
Award Winner
IAAF World Athlete of the Year  Usain Bolt (JAM)[2]
Track & Field Athlete of the Year  Usain Bolt (JAM)
European Athlete of the Year Trophy  Phillips Idowu (GBR)
European Athletics Rising Star  Christophe Lemaitre (FRA)


Award Winner
IAAF World Athlete of the Year  Sanya Richards (USA)[2]
Track & Field Athlete of the Year  Sanya Richards (USA)
European Athlete of the Year Trophy  Marta Domínguez (ESP)
European Athletics Rising Star  Karoline Bjerkeli Grøvdal (NOR)


Incidents of athletes testing positive for banned substances were low-key compared to previous years. The IAAF conducted their largest ever anti-doping program at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics,[3] and Jamel Chatbi and Nigerian hurdler Amaka Ogoegbunam were the only athletes who tested positive.[4] Five Jamaican sprint athletes, including Yohan Blake and Sheri-Ann Brooks, tested positive for Methylhexanamine prior to the world championships. Four of the athletes received three-month bans, while Brooks was cleared on a technicality.[5]

A Brazilian coach, Jayme Netto, admitted that he had administered the banned drug recombinant EPO on five of his athletes without their knowledge.[6] South American champion Lucimar Teodoro was another high-profile Brazilian athlete to be banned.[7]



  • February 18 — Kamila Skolimowska (26), Polish hammer thrower (born 1982)
  • April 6 — Svetlana Ulmasova (56), Uzbekistani long-distance runner (born 1953)
  • May 8 — Fons Brydenbach (54), Belgian sprinter (born 1954)
  • June 27 — Nanae Nagata (53), Japanese long-distance runner (born 1956)
  • October 2 — Jørgen Jensen (65), Danish long-distance runner (born 1944)
  • October 25 — Ingeborg Mello (90), Argentine discus thrower and shot putter (born 1919)


  1. ^ Ramsak, Bob (2009-09-04). Bekele, Isinbayeva and Richards’ road to the Jackpot – ÅF Golden League. IAAF. Retrieved on 2009-10-25.
  2. ^ a b Bolt and Richards are World Athletes of the Year – 2009 World Athletics Gala. IAAF (2009-11-22). Retrieved on 2009-11-22.
  3. ^ Berlin to host largest ever IAAF Anti-Doping operation. IAAF (2009-08-11). Retrieved on 12 August 2009 Archived 8 September 2009
  4. ^ Berlin 2009 - Nigerian fails drugs test. Eurosport/Reuters (2009-08-21). Retrieved on 2009-09-25. Archived 2009-09-27.
  5. ^ Jamaicans given three-month ban. BBC Sport (2009-09-17). Retrieved on 2009-10-25.
  6. ^ Coach takes blame for five Brazilian athletes failing drug tests. The Guardian (2009-08-06). Retrieved on 2009-10-25.
  7. ^ Brazilian hurdler banned for two years for doping. Reuters (2009-08-12). Retrieved on 2009-08-12.
  8. ^ Raynor, Kayon (2009-09-29). Collins, 2003 World 100m champion, retires. IAAF. Retrieved on 2009-09-28.
  9. ^ Morse, Parker (2009-09-25). Pole Vault Pioneer Stacy Dragila takes a bow. IAAF. Retrieved on 2009-09-30.
  10. ^ Illness ends Pechonkina's career. BBC Sport (2009-09-28). Retrieved on 2009-09-28.