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Zulia Calatayud
Cuban runner Zulia Calatyud and Venezuelan pitcher Johan Santana were named the top individual Latin American and Caribbean athletes of 2006 in an annual survey conducted by Prensa Latina. The Brazilan mens volleyball team was recognized as the top collective effort.

Calatayud, a specialist at the 800 meter dash, finished ahead of Mexican golfer Lorena Ochoa. Santana, pitcher in the US Major Leagues who participated in the World Baseball Classic, won out over Jamaican runner Asafa Powell and Brazilian soccer star Ronaldinho Gaucho. It was the first time that a Venezuelan athlete had won the contest.

In the category of Male Team Sports, Brazils volleyball team won over the Argentine Davis Cup Tennis Team.

Ranked among the ten most outstanding of the region behind Ochoa, Powell and Ronaldinho were Jamaican female runner Sherone Simpson, Dominican baseball player Albert Pujols, Argentine tennis player David Nalbandian, Panamanian long jumper Irving Saladino and the Cubans Dayron Robles (hurdles), Janet Bermoy (judo) and Sergio Alvarez (weightlifting).

A total of 115 media outlets from Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia, Africa, Europe and the United States participated in the survey.

Source: Granma

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