They did it! Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce were named the 2013 Athletes of the Year, making it the first time a Jamaican duo has copped the prestigious title and only the third time in the history of the award.
The only other athletes to have done this are Americans Carl Lewis and Florence Griffith-Joyner in 1988 and Colin Jackson and Sally Gunnell of Great Britain in 1993.
Fraser-Pryce (left) and Bolt, 2013 Athletes of the Year
This award, which was announced at the 2013 World Athletics Gala on Saturday in Monaco, is the fifth for Bolt and the first for Fraser-Pryce, making her the second Jamaican woman to receive the award after Merlene Ottey in 1990.
Bolt, 27, previously the World Athlete of the Year in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012, successfully defended both his 100m and 200m titles at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, winning the latter final in a 2013 world-leading time of 19.66.
Fraser-Pryce, 26, regained her 100m title at the 2013 IAAF World Championships, winning in 10.71 which remained the fastest time of the year. After having run the fastest time of the year in the 200m, 22.13, at the national championships in June, she went on to win the gold medal over the longer distance in Moscow.
During the evening’s proceedings, Bolt was asked to sign 10 of his books in under 10 seconds. He was timed. It took the fastest man alive 24 seconds to sign the 10 books.
Meanwhile, after receiving her award, Fraser-Pryce said it felt great and that she could not have done it without her Creator and the support of her family, friends and management. She also took time to acknowledge the other finalists who had been shortlisted for this year’s award, saying she felt honoured to have been shortlisted with them and to eventually come out on top.
Both athletes will also receive a prize of US$100,000, according to the IAAF website.