Athletes of the Year 2007
Tom Boonen and Justine Henin were elected male and female Athlete of the Year 2007.
20 December 2007 - In Ostend Tom Boonen and Justine Henin were elected male and female Athlete of the Year 2007. This is the second time that Boonen has won the distinction. Henin has won the trophy 4 times.
The Athlete of the Year distinction is based on a referendum amongst sports journalists. The winners were announced at a Sports Gala in Casino Kursaal in the coastal town of Ostend. (Belga) Cyclist Tom Boonen (photo) got 595 points, just 22 more than cyclo cross athlete Sven Nys (573 points). Basketball player Axel Hervelle was third with 334 points.
Boonen won the green jersey in this years Tour de France. A Belgian had not won the point classification since 1989.
Nys, the favourite to win the Athlete of the Year trophy in the VRT sports poll by Sporza.be, came in second place. Nys won the 'Chrystal Wheel' awardEarlier this month Nys won the ‘Chrystal Wheel’ award- a vote by the Flemish sports journalists. The journalists eligible to vote had put Nys in first place more often than Boonen (56 times, as compared to 45 times for Boonen. But Boonen came out ahead in the poll that counted this time. An absent Henin wins for 4th time
The fourth female Athlete of the Year Trophy for Henin came as no surprise. (Photonews) Justine Henin received 1051 points. Sprinter Kim Gevaert got 914 points and high-jumper Tia Hellebaut 460.
Justine Henin won this year’s Roland Garros, US Open and the Masters Tournament, among others.
Henin was not in Ostend for the Sports Gala. In a direct television connection with the public broadcaster VRT(photo), Henin received the trophy from 2 tennis competitors, Nadja Petrova and Anna Tsjakvetadze.
“This is a nice distinction after a season in which I had to fight hard. It really means a lot to me. I hope that I will be able to represent my country well during the Olympic Games,” said a glowing Justine Henin.
Henin also praised the 2 runners-up. “I have a lot of respect for both of them. I admire them, their performances were superb.