Bolt outscores Messi

Published: Monday | December 28, 2009

( L - R ) Usain Bolt, Messi - File


Colossal Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt has topped Argentina's football superstar Lionel Messi in the poll for the best Latin American and Caribbean male athlete in 2009, the Cuba-based news agency Prensa Latina has reported.

World and Olympic sprint champion Bolt gathered 45 votes to keep the trophy he won last year, while defeating the world's No.1 footballer Messi, who picked up 18 votes.

Cuban triple jump World Champion Yargelis Savigne took the women's award.

Bolt used the IAAF World Championship in Germany in August to improve his world records in 100 and 200 metres, registering awesome times of 9.58 and 19.19 seconds, respectively, in Berlin.

The 6-foot-5-inch 23-year-old also helped Jamaica win the 4x100 relay gold in Berlin and in the past month he has also been named repeat winner of both the IAAF Male Athlete of the Year and BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year awards.

Outstanding year

Messi also had an outstanding year. The newly crowned FIFA World Footballer of the Year played a key role in the Spanish club Barcelona winning six trophies in 2009.

Savigne obtained 28 votes, 12 points over Jamaican 100-metre Olympic and World Champion Shelly-Ann Fraser, for the women's award.

Brazil emerged Latin American and Caribbean team of the year for the seventh time, mainly for landing the Confederations Cup in South Africa this past summer.

Among the other outstanding athletes of the year selected by 85 media from America, Europe, Africa and Asia were Argentine tennis player Juan Martin del Potro, Cuban wrestler Mijain Lopez, Brazilian swimmer Cesar Cielo, Dominican Republic baseball player Albert Pujols, Jamaican 400-metre hurdler Melaine Walker and Cuban cyclist Yumari Gonzalez.

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