Bolt was chosen as the winner by a board of 46 sporting legends
Triple Olympic champion Usain Bolt has been named the 2009 Laureus World Sportsman of the Year.
The 22-year-old became the first man to win the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay gold medals in world record time at the same Olympics in Beijing last summer.
In Rome last week, Russian pole-vault star Yelena Isinbayeva was named World Sportswoman of the Year.
"I am delighted to win this prestigious award and would like to thank everyone who voted for me," said Jamaican Bolt.
"It's an honour to succeed such greats as Roger Federer, Michael Schumacher, Lance Armstrong and Tiger Woods."
Bolt received his award from Michael Johnson, whose 200m world record he broke, and former Olympic and world 400m hurdles champion Edwin Moses.
Johnson added: "He doesn't just want to win races and medals, he wants to test the limits of human ability.
"I am happy for him and I congratulate him on breaking my 200m world record."
The other nominees were Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, who won eight gold medals in Beijing, French Open and Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal, Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton, MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi and Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo.