domingo, 19 de julio de 2009

Gymnasts Liukin, Johnson Earn ESPY Awards

Olympic champion gymnasts Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson (U.S.) picked up more hardware Wednesday night at the annual ESPY Awards in Los Angeles.

Nastia Liukin (U.S.) shows off her ESPY award for Best Female Athlete 2009.

Liukin, the 2008 Olympic all-around champion, won Best Female Athlete. The 19 year old defeated tennis star Serena Williams, professional basketball player Candace Parker, Olympic swimmer Natalie Coughlin and Connecticut basketball player Maya Moore. Eight-time Olympic swimming gold medalist Michael Phelps won Best Male Athlete.

"It's still a little surreal," Liukin said backstage at the Nokia Center after accepting the trophy. "It's definitely going to add a little bit of weight to my purse on the way home."

Johnson, the 2008 Olympic balance beam gold medalist and recent "Dancing with the Stars" champion, won the award for Best Female Olympian.

2004 Olympian Courtney Kupets was nominated for Best Female College Athlete, which went to Moore.

Liukin, who is training for the 2012 Olympic Games, will return to competition this month at the CoverGirl U.S. Classic on July 25 in Des Moines, Iowa. Liukin plans to compete on balance beam at the event, and then contribute to the live TV and online coverage on Universal Sports.

The 2009 ESPY Awards, hosted by actor Samuel L. Jackson, will be broadcast on ESPN at 9 p.m. EST on Sunday.


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