Bolt, Pearson voted best

Australia’s Sally Pearson and Jamaica’s Usain Bolt with their trophies after winning the best athletes of the year award at the IAAF gala in Monaco on Saturday. AFP

Bolt, winning the award for the third time, bounced back from disqualification for false starting in the world 100 metres final to retain his 200M title, before anchoring Jamaica to win the 4x100M relay in a world record time.

Pearson enjoyed a phenomenal season, winning 15 of 16 races and taking the world 100M hurdles title in 12.28 seconds, the fastest time in 19 years. Pearson, 25, is the first Australian to win the award since it was introduced in 1988. "I'm quite a perfectionist when it comes to my technique, there are quite a few things I can improve on," she said. "You can never be truly happy with a race until you have won an Olympic gold medal, and that's what I want to do next year."

Blake was named the male performance of the year. "This season was a really trying one for me, I really had to work hard and step up my game," Bolt said. "There were some ups and downs throughout the season. For me this one (award) means a lot, I'm really proud of myself."

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