Monte Carlo, Monaco:::
Usain Bolt is the 2011 World Male Athlete of the year, becoming only the second man in history to win the prestigious award on three occasions.
Australian sprint hurdler Sally Pearson was also presented with the Female World Athlete of the year award at last night’s International Athletics Foundation Grand Gala, which was held at the Salle des Etoiles in Monaco.
Bolt, who won ahead of countryman Yohan Blake and Kenyan 800m specialist David Rudisha was happy with the award and says it will serve as motivation for the upcoming season.
“I am extremely proud of myself this means a lot to me and it has motivated me even more to work harder and to enter this coming season with even greater fight,” Bolt said in an interview.
The double world record holder won the 200m at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Daegu, South Korea earlier this year with the fifth fastest time in history, while also posting the fastest time for the year over 100m, 9.76 seconds. Bolt was also a member of Jamaica’s world record breaking 4x100m relay team from Daegu.
Pearson, the world 100m hurdles champion, is hoping that her success can inspire athletes from her region and help to push the sport forward.
“Its pretty amazing because we struggle in Australia with our sport so when I can do this for my country and my region it means a lot and hopefully it can inspire other athletes from my region at the junior level and senior level,” said the Pearson.
The Australian won in Daegu with the fastest time in 19 years – 12.28; also setting a national and area record in the process. She won 15 of her 16 races over the last season, getting the nod over Valerie Adams (New Zealand) and Vivian Cheruiyot (Kenya)