Jamaican track and field sprinters Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Usain Bolt (R) pose with their awards after being named as the International Association of Athletics Federation’s male and female World Athletes of the Year for 2013. (AFP, Valery Hache)
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Nov. 18, 2013: Amidst controversy over drug testing in Jamaica, the country’s top athletes, Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce have both nabbed the title of Male and Female World Athletes of the Year for 2013.
Bolt, who won the award for the fifth time, and Fraser-Pryce, a first-time winner, received their trophies at this evening’s IAAF World Athletics Gala held at the Salle des Etoiles of the Sporting Club d’Eté.
Bolt used the opportunity to address the doping controversy that has put Jamaica and its athletes into the spotlight, calling for a move past the issue soon.
“We really need to get this out of the way and move past this, get the rules down, get everything straight and get it down fast, because we need to move on,” Bolt said. “In every sport there are drug scandals and problems, but people move past it. That’s what we have to do because it’s really costing me money now, and I’m not too happy about that.”
The world’s fastest man revealed the issue has cost him a sponsor since it was alleged that WADA had said he would not be eligible to run at the next Olympics.
“That information is not correct, so there are a lot of things that are going on with this drugs thing that I really feel they need to clarify because, for me, it’s causing problems for me when it comes to making money from my sport,” he added.
Usain Bolt, 27, previously the World Athlete of the Year in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012, successfully regained his 100m title and won the 200m at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, winning the latter final in a 2013 world-leading time of 19.66.
He concluded his World Championships by anchoring a Jamaican quartet to the gold medals in the 4x100m Relay. Bolt won 10 out of his 11 100m races (including heats), and was unbeaten in his five races over 200m.
“This season will be the one to go for the (200m) World record,” announced Bolt.
“I want to get ready to attack the World record,” he added, hinting that below 19 seconds was the target.
Shelly-Ann 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 Jamaican championships in June, she went on to win the gold medal over the longer distance in Moscow.
Like her compatriot Bolt, she also anchored the Jamaican 4x100m team to victory, a national record and the second fastest time in history.
“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,” she added.
The awards were hosted by International Athletics Foundation (IAF) Honorary President HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco and IAF & IAAF President Lamine Diack, who presented the trophies to the Male and Female winners.
Both athletes will also receive a prize of US$100,000.
Other award winners were:
IAAF DISTINGUISHED CAREER AWARD
Dwight Phillips (USA) & Yelena Isinbayeva (RUS)
Phillips won the 2004 Olympic Games Long Jump gold medal and four IAAF World Championships gold medals in his specialist event before retiring from international competition in August 2013. Isinbayeva won gold medals at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games, has won at three IAAF World Championships and four IAAF World Indoor Championships. She was the World Athlete of the Year in 2004, 2005 and 2008; and has set 15 World records outdoors and 13 World records indoors.
IAAF RISING STAR AWARD
Mary Cain (USA)
Cain, 17, has set numerous US junior and high school middle-distance records and age-bests since the start of the year and became the youngest athlete ever to represent the USA at the IAAF World Championships after qualifying for the 1500m, making the final in Moscow. She ran 800m in 1:59.51 at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene to become the first US youth, junior or high school female runner to go under two minutes and improved the US junior 1500m record by almost five seconds when she ran 4:04.62 this summer.
IAAF COACHING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Alberto Salazar (USA)
Salazar was an outstanding distance runner in the 1980s, winning the New York City Marathon on three consecutive occasions from 1980-1982. He also won the 1982 Boston Marathon and finished second at the 1982 IAAF World Cross Country Championships. As a coach based in Oregon, Salazar has guided the career of Great Britain’s double Olympic Games and IAAF World Championships gold medallist Mo Farah as well as a host of top US international runners including Galen Rupp and IAAF Rising Star of the Year Mary Cain.
IAAF WORLD JOURNALIST AWARD
Gianni Merlo (ITA)
Merlo is a journalist with the Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport and has also been the President of the International Sports Press Association (AIPS), the global body representing sports journalists, since 2005.
MALE MASTERS ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Charles Allie (USA)
Competing in the M65 division, Allie broke outdoor World records in the 200m and 400m this year, running 24.65 and 56.09 respectively and set an indoor world best of 25.41 in the 200m.
FEMALE MASTERS ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Christa Bortignon (CAN)
Bortignon, competing in the W75 category, won eight gold medals at the 2013 World Masters Athletics Championships. She holds six W75 World records.
IAAF HALL OF FAME – 2013 INDUCTEES