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Bolt named top international athlete

BRUSSELS, Belgium -- Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt edged U.S.
swimmer Michael Phelps in a vote for the 2008 athlete of the year
by the international media.

Olympic pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva took the top place
as sportswoman of the year and Spain's soccer team was voted team
of the year for winning the European Championship.

In a poll by the International Sports Press Association,
journalists from 96 nations gave Bolt 1,673 points to 1,557 for
Phelps. Bolt won three gold medals, setting world records in the
100 meters, 200 and 400 relay to become the star of Beijing's
Bird's Nest stadium. In the Water Cube, Phelps made history by
winning eight golds in the pool for the United States.

Isinbayeva was undefeated outdoors in 2008, defending her
Olympic title in Beijing with one of her four world records on the
year.

The Spanish soccer squad earned 1,395 points, ahead of Jamaica's
sprint relay team, Champions League winner Manchester United and
the U.S. Olympic basketball team with 597.