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Highlights of 2011 Season

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Sally Pearson had a fantastic 2011 seasonWith 2011 almost over, it's the perfect time to reflect on another hugely entertaining season in athletics and I felt the best way to do this is give out a few 'awards' in certain categories as follows:

Male Athlete of the Year
This is a tricky one as nobody has completely shone throughout the season but I would have to award it to Great Britain's Mo Farah following his distance exploits in Daegu (2011 World Champs) where he took a gold and silver in the 5000m and 10,000m respectively. He smashed the European Record in the 10,000m and lowered his own 5000m British Record in an incredible season.

Female Athlete of the Year

A much easier choice here - Sally Pearson totally dominated the 100m Hurdles in 2011 and moved to 4th on the all-time lists following her sensational 12.28 clocking to win gold at the World Champs. She regularly ran in the 12.5 region and displayed remarkable consistency throughout the season.

Young Male Athlete of the Year
Very close to call as Kirani James enjoyed a fantastic season in the 400m however I'd like to award this to Germany's David Storl for becoming World Champion in the Shot Putt at the age of just 21 - this is remarkable considering that throwers are traditionally at their strongest around the age of 30. He should definitely be one to watch in 2012...

Young Female Athlete of the Year
Esthera Petre of Romania entered 2011 with a PB of 1.88m and improved to 1.92m (indoors) in February. She then jumped a superb 1.98m to smash her lifetime best by 6cm and win the European U23 title in Ostrava. This height places her equal 5th on the 2011 world rankings and the 21-year-old could well challenge the 'big two' of Chicherova and Vlasic in 2012 if she continues to develop as an athlete.

Performance of the Year
There can arguably be only one - Yohan Blake's scorching 19.26 (0.7m/s) in Brussels on 16 September 2011 got within 0.07secs of Usain Bolt's World Record mark and took many people by surprise. The duel between the two Jamaicans in 2012 should be one of the greatest battles in any discipline.

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