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Bolt focused on Rio .. Sprinter cops intl awards, sets sights on Olympic success

Published:Tuesday | December 29, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Usain Bolt

Having secured two new, glistening post-season accolades, Jamaican speedster Usain Bolt says he is fully focused on ending next season like the last: on top.

Bolt, like he did in 2008, 2009, and 2012, followed up another triple gold-medal-winning season by topping tennis star Novak Djokovic for his record fourth Champion of Champions award, handed out by French media outlet L'Equipe.

The sprinter was also named the Male Athlete of the Year by the International Sports Press Association (AIPS) Americas (a grouping of Latin American-based sports journalists). This follows the 29-year-old receiving the top award from the Caribbean Sports Journalists' Association.

Bolt successfully defended his 100m, 200m, and 4x100m titles at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China, in August.

"I am always happy when my hard work is recognised, and so I am pleased to have received these awards. It's also pleasing to have come out on top over so many other global sporting superstars," said Bolt, who bettered the likes of Lionel Messi, Steph Curry, and Lewis Hamilton, among others for the L'Equipe award.

SERENA WILLIAMS

American tennis star Serena Williams won the female Champion of Champions award, while Cuban pole vaulter Yarisley Silva Rodriguez was the AIPS' Americas Female Athlete of the Year.

"I want to thank the organisations for this honour and all the fans for continuing to support me," Bolt told The Gleaner before going on to underline his ambitions heading into the next season, when he will look to defend his Olympic sprint titles.

"Last year was a good year for me, and I am thankful for what I was able to accomplish. However, I am working hard to achieve my goals for the coming season," said Bolt. "The 2016 Olympic Games represent a major point in my career and ambitions, and I am putting in the work to ensure I will be in top shape in Rio."

Bolt, a six-time Olympic and 11-times World Championships gold medal winner and world record holder in the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m, has so far confirmed one appearance in 2016, the Anniversary Games in London, which takes place a couple weeks before the start of the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The five-time National Sportsman of the Year, has also won the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award (2009, 2010, 2012); the IAAF World Athlete of the Year (2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013); the BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year (2008, 2009, 2012); and the Jamaica Gleaner Man of the Year award (2008 and 2009).