Jamaica’s Usain Bolt and Sally Pearson of Australia have been named Athletes of the Year by the IAAF at an awards ceremony in Monte Carlo.
The Jamaican star, who grabbed the award for a record-equaling third time, was recognized for bouncing back from his shock disqualification in the World Championship 100-meters final in South Korea’s Daegu to snatch the 200-meter title in style before leading Jamaica to the 4×100 meters relay victory at a world record pace.
Bolt surpassed his training partner, Yohan Blake, and Kenya’s David Rudisha to win the award.
“I know it wasn’t the best season but I promise next year it will be better,” Bolt stated at the awards ceremony.
As for Pearson, the Australian sprinter gave a lightening performance in the women’s 100-meters hurdles final, also in Daegu, claiming a time of 12.28 seconds – the fourth fastest in history – on her way to victory.
Pearson’s triumph followed a three-way battle involving New Zealand’s dominant shot putter, Valerie Adams, and Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya.
“Again, thank you to everyone for coming tonight, it truly means a lot to all the athletes here,” Pearson told the audience at the awards ceremony.“I’m sure, because we work so hard for what we get in our results in the sport, to have nights like this really means a lot to us. It feels like our results have been appreciated, so thank you very much,” she added.
The judges also honored Cheruiyot, winner of the 2011 World Cross Country title, with the prize for Women’s Performance of the Year, with the men’s equivalent going to Yohan Blake, who ran the second-fastest ever 200-meter time (19.26 seconds) at the Diamond League meeting in Brussels.