Jamaican sprinters Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce were crowned the male and female World Athletes of the Year on Friday by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF).
Bolt won the award for the fifth time following his successful defence of the 100m title and, also winning the 200m (in a 2013 world-leading time of 19.66 in the final) at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow.
The 27-year-old added the 4×100m Relay gold medal to his trophies at the Moscow World Championships, becoming the most successful athlete in the history of the World Championships this year with his eighth gold and tenth medal in total.
Bolt won 10 out of his eleven 100m races (including heats), and was unbeaten in his five races over 200m.
At the IAAF World Athletics Gala hosted by International Athletics Foundation (IAF) Honorary President HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco and IAF & IAAF President Lamine Diack, Bolt said his 2014 target was to beat his 200m world record.
“This season will be the one to go for the (200m) World record because there are no major (outdoor) championships,” announced Bolt. “I want to get ready to attack the World record.”
“The 200m is much easier than the 100m to try for a record and that would be my main focus this season.”
Fellow Jamaican, Fraser-Pryce, who won the female’s award for a first time, regained her 100m title at the 2013 IAAF World Championships, winning in 10.71 which remained the fastest time of the year. She also won the 200m in Moscow after setting the fastest time of 2013 at the Jamaican championships in June and anchored the Caribbean island’s 4×100m team to victory.
“I’m shocked and excited. It’s something that has been a dream of mine,” said a delighted Fraser-Pryce, who becomes the second Jamaican woman to win, after Merlene Ottey in 1990. “Not all the time do things happen that we want to happen, but this did.”