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Usain Bolt, Mo Farah and Serena Williams up for top prize

SHORTLISTED: Usain Bolt and Serena Williams

STELLAR NAMES in the world of sport, including Usain Bolt, Mo Farah, Tiger Woods and Serena Williams, are going head-to-head to win the prestigious Jesse Owens International Athlete Trophy.

The honour, which was created in 1981, has shortlisted 10 stars for a chance to take home the coveted award.

It recognises professional athletes across all sports, and this year’s roll-call sees a diverse number involved, such as cross-county skiing and speed skating.

Established in memory of track and field’s most celebrated sportsman Jesse Owens, the award’s founder Herbert Douglas is happy to see the accolade still going strong over 30 years since its beginning and hailed the man who inspired its conception.

He said: “The impact that Jesse Owens has had on the world, using sports as his springboard, is immeasurable.”

MOBOT: Farah has been shortlisted (PA)

Douglas, who won gold at the London 1948 Olympic Games, added: “Through this award we're honouring Jesse's legacy and championing a new class of athletes to follow in his footsteps.”

Apart from Bolt, Farah, Woods and Williams, there are six other world renowned stars hoping to claim the gong.

They are footballer Lionel Messi, swimmer Michael Phelps, basketballer LeBron James, athlete Liu Xiang, cross-country skier Marit Bjoergen, and speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno.

The International Athletic Association will reveal the winner, chosen by a panel of sports writers and experts from across the world, on March 10.

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