Bolt claims ′Athlete of the Year′ title for sixth time | News | DW | 02.12.2016
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Bolt claims 'Athlete of the Year' title for sixth time

The athletic ruling body IAAF has named Usain Bolt male athlete of the year on a Monte Carlo gala, with Almaz Ayana winning the female title. The 30-year-old Jamaican said he regrets "slacking off" early in his career.

Upon receiving his 6th "Athlete of the year" award on Friday, Bolt said he has done "everything he wanted to" on the field.

"I'll have to make a new bucket list now," said the sprinter, who is set to retire next year, after a farewell tour dedicated to his fans.

"I'm still talking to people about what I will do afterwards and I definitely want to stay involved in the sport but at the moment I am just looking forward to doing nothing," said Bolt.

Bolt has won 20 Olympic and World Championship titles, including the three gold medals he claimed in the 2016 Summer Olympic in Rio. The sprinter's incredible performance allowed him to defend his titles in the 100 and 200 meter races, and lead the Jamaican team to victory in the 400 meters relay.

"I live for the moments when I walk into a stadium and I hear a loud roar, and Rio was outstanding," Bolt said after accepting his award from IAAF president Sebastian Coe.

'You have to get stronger'

Bolt also claimed the titles in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2013.

In 2007, however, the title was claimed by his rival Tyson Gay, who also beat Bolt in the 200-meter race in Osaka in the same year. Reminiscing during the Monte Carlo gala, Bolt described the race as a wake-up call.

"After I lost, I remember going to my coach saying, 'I really tried my best, but what can I do to win because I really need to win?'," Bolt said.

"He said: 'You're slacking off in the gym. If you want to win you have to get stronger.'"

Ayana's Rio time claim to the crown

The famous sprinter said that he now regretted not getting "more serious more quickly."

"I was relying more on my talent. If I'd got more serious, I think I would have done a lot more in my career," he said.

In the female competition, Ethiopian long-distance runner Almaz Ayana claimed her first crown after winning gold and setting a new world record in the 10,000 meters race in Rio.

"I don't have words to explain my feelings right now. I'm so excited," Ayana said.

Ayana's time in Rio broke the 23-year-old record by over 14 seconds.

dj/gsw (dpa, AFP, Reuters)


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