Olympic champions Usain Bolt and Allyson Felix are named male and female athlete of the year by the IAAF. David Rudisha wins the male performance of the year award and the U.S. women's Olympic 4 x 100 metres relay team wins the female performance of the year award.
BARCELONA, SPAIN (NOVEMBER 24, 2012) (IAAF) - Olympic champions Usain Bolt and Allyson Felix were named male and female athlete of the year by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) at a ceremony in Barcelona on Saturday (November 24).
Felix was also part of the Olympic gold medal-winning U.S. 4x100 metres relay team, along with Carmelita Jeter, Bianca Knight and Tianna Madison, who were jointly awarded the female performance of the year. The team clocked 40.82 seconds inLondon, smashing the world record set in 1985 by East Germany of 41.37 seconds.
Kenya's David Rudisha won the male performance of the year award for his dazzling run in the 800 metres in London, when he also set a world record. Rudisha capped four years of dominance by storming to Olympic gold in one minute 40.91, to beat the mark of 1.41.01 he set two years previously in Italy.
"When I was in that lane I knew I was in good shape and I was confident to win the race but I wanted to do something special, probably I knew it was difficult to break the world record without a pacemaker but I was going for something like 1.41 but in the long run I got the world record," Rudisha said.
Felix was honoured for her Olympic gold medal in the 200 metres.
The 27-year-old was also part of the Olympic gold medal-winning 4x400m relay team and became the first woman since 1988 to win three gold medals at a single Games.
Jamaican Bolt, who retained his 100 and 200 metres titles in London in August, is the first man to win the male athlete award four times after success in 2008, 2009 and 2011. He also anchored the Jamaican quartet to a world record in the Olympic 4x100m relay of 36.84 seconds .
"This is a great honour this year, I really worked hard, I was really focussed so for me it's an honour for me to win for my fourth time," said Bolt after receiving his award from IAAF President Lamine Diack.
"It was just a pleasure to really come out this season, it was one of my toughest seasons I think. I went through a few ups and downs, a lot of people don't know about because my coach doesn't like us athletes to talk about injury, he doesn't like us to focus on injuries but just to work through them and be focused. I'm just going to continue working hard, I'm looking forward to the upcoming season and just going to work hard and try to be the best at what I do," Bolt added.