Serbian Novak Djokovic and Norwegian cross-country skier Marit Bjoergen were voted the best male and female athlete of the year 2011, by 379 journalists drawn from 82 countries.
Three grand slam titles - the Australian Open, Wimbledon and US open earned Djokovic, who is currently ranked number one 812 votes over 100 votes against Argentine and Barcelona maestro Lionel Messi (690).
Messi also finished second in last year's poll. Jamaican World 200m champion Usain Bolt who is also the reigning IAAF athlete of the year ranked third with 441 votes.
Interestingly Djokovic, the youngest player in the Open era to reach the semi finals of all four grand slam titles, beat Rafael Nadal, the 2010 AIPS male athlete, in two consecutive grand slam events.
The women’s was a close race pitting the most successful sprinter in cross-country history Marit Bjoergen against the double world athletics champion Kenyan Vivian Cheruiyot
The Norwegian star of the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships with four gold medals (Individual sprint,7.5 km + 7.5 km double pursuit, 10 km classical4 x 5 km) and a silver in the 30km won the vote by just 10 votes at 576 ahead of Cheruyoit(566).
The long distance runner had a terrific season winning the Gold medals in the 5000m and 10000m in Daegu adding on to the senior women cross country title from Punta Umbria. Italian swimmer Federica Pellegrini ranked third with 448 of the 3240 votes cast.
World club and Spanish La Liga champions Barcelona are the AIPS team of the year 2011 after garnering 1411 votes, ahead of New Zealand’s All Blacks (1000) and Brazil’s natonal volleyball team (616).
The expansive and well-equipped Media Centre and press tribune at the iAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea received the best press facility award with 633 votes. Wimbledon was second favorite with 616 votes while the press facilities offered for the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand were voted third best at 326.
Best Athlete – Men1. Novak Djokovic 817 (23.83%)
380 Journalists voted
Best Athlete – Women1. Marit Bjoergen (Cross-country Ski) 576 (17.73%)
360 Journalists voted
1. Barcelona Football Club 1412 (42.98%)
2. All Blacks Rugby 1000 (30.44%)
3. Brazil men Volleyball 622 (18.93%)
4 . Barcelona Club men Handball 251 (7.64%)
364 Journalists voted
Best Press facilities
1.IAAF World Championships in Athletics, Daegu 638 (25.68%)
2. Wimbledon Tennis 619 (24.92%)
3. Rugby World Cup, New Zealand 326 (13.12%)
4. Swimming WC - Shanghai 323 (13,00%)
5. Alpine Ski WC – Garmish Partenkirchen 320 (12.88%)
6. Nordic Ski WC - Oslo 258 (10.39%)
275 Journalists voted79 countries