Athletics: Edwards heads poll

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Jonathan Edwards can look forward to the challenge of Olympic year after being acclaimed the world's top male athlete in Monte Carlo. The 29-year- old Gateshead Harrier completed a 100 per cent record on and off the track by topping the International Amateur Athletic Federation poll.

Edwards, who had previously picked up the sport's major British and European awards, won every one of his 14 triple jump competitions. He broke the world record three times - twice when winning the world title - and became the first man to break the 18-metre barrier.

Edwards beat the Ethiopian long distance runner Haile Gebrselassie and the United States double world champion, Michael Johnson to the award.

Sonia O'Sullivan, the world 5,000m champion from Ireland, was runner- up to the American Gwen Torrence for the women's award.