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Usain Bolt & Sanya Richards claim top honours

Usain Bolt

Replay - Record-breaking Bolt wins 100m gold

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt and 400m runner Sanya Richards of the United States have won their second IAAF World Athlete of the Year awards.

Bolt retained the honour thanks to his record-breaking wins in the 100 and 200m finals at the World Championships.

Richards, who took the award in 2006, got her first major individual gold medal at the worlds in August.

She also won at all six Golden League meetings in Europe to claim a share of the $1m (£605,712) jackpot.

"It's been an amazing year for me," said Bolt, whose training was hampered by a foot injury after he crashed his car in April.

Usain Bolt and Sanya Richards
Bolt and Richards were presented with their awards in Monaco

"I had to refocus my goals and put in a lot of hard work. I did extremely well and I'm proud of myself."

He also won a third gold in the 4x100m relay in Berlin and beat 5,000 and 10,000m winner Kenenisa Bekele, pole vaulter Steven Hooker and Norwegian javelin thrower Andreas Thorkildsen to the honour.

"He brings a lot of prestige to our sport," IAAF president Lamine Diack Said. "He is one of the best-known people on the planet."

Jamaican-born Richards was favourite to win gold at the Beijing Olympics but took bronze behind Britain's Christine Ohuruogu

"I am so excited and overwhelmed," said Richards. "You work so hard to be a world champion. It's right up there with winning the title in Berlin."

Also up for the award were shot putter Valerie Vili, high jumper Blanka Vlasic, hammer thrower Anita Wlodarczyk and pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva.

Votes were cast by nearly 1,800 athletes, officials and journalists.

Christine Ohuruogu

Replay - Richards wins ahead of Ohuruogu

see also
Top sprinters set for showdowns
21 Nov 09 |  Athletics
Who is the athlete of the noughties?
04 Nov 09 |  Athletics
Awesome Bolt breaks 200m record
20 Aug 09 |  Athletics
Bolt sets record to win 100m gold
16 Aug 09 |  Athletics
Richards set for 400m landmark
09 Jul 09 |  Athletics
Bolt and Isinbayeva scoop awards
23 Nov 08 |  Athletics
Athletics on the BBC
21 Apr 11 |  Athletics

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