Bolt, Fraser-Pryce snag IAAF Athlete of the Year honors

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (left) and Usain Bolt (right) accept their 2013 IAAF World Athlete of the Year awards at a gala in Monaco on Saturday.. Associated Press (AP)

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (left) and Usain Bolt (right) accept their 2013 IAAF World Athlete of the Year awards at a gala in Monaco on Saturday.. Associated Press (AP)

by Jodee Brown

Jamaica can now lay claim to being only the third country ever to sweep IAAF Athlete of the Year honors after Olympic legends, Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Prycetook home the male and female titles respectively at a gala on Saturday in Monaco.

Neither athlete winning was a shock in truth as both left their marks on the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow, with both winning the 100m and 200m titles as well as anchoring Jamaica to gold in the 4 by 100 relays. Bolt beat out British long distance Olympic champion,Mohamed Farah and Ukranian high jumper, Bohdan Bondarenko on the men’s side while Fraser-Pryce beat New Zealand’s world champion shot-putter, Valerie Adams and the Czech Republic’s 400m queen, Zuzana Hejnova.

While Bolt’s victory continued his stellar run of consecutive athlete of the year triumphs (five in the last six year – exception being 2010), the win for Fraser-Prycebroke a 23 year drought for Jamaican women in relation to the award, being the first since legendary sprinter, Merlene Ottey to do so. The win comes after Fraser-Pryce was surprisingly left off the shortlist last year despite retaining her 100m title at last year’s Olympics in London.

Prior to Jamaica’s sweep this year, only the United States in 1988 (Carl Lewis and Florence Griffith-Joyner) and the United Kingdom in 1993 (Colin Jackson and Sam Gunnell).

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce named finalist for IAAF World Athlete of the Year

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce will contend for Jamaica's first female IAAF World Athlete of the Year honor in 23 years later this month.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce will contend for Jamaica’s first female IAAF World Athlete of the Year honor in 23 years later this month.

by Jodee Brown

As expected, two time Olympic 100m gold medalist and Jamaican sprinting queen, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has been named as one of three finalists for the prestigious IAAF World Female Athlete of the Yearaward, set to be handed out later this month in Monaco.

Fraser-Pryce will contend against world champion New Zealand shot-putter, Valerie Adams and Zuzana Hejnova, the reigning 400m hurdles world champion from the Czech Republic. Fraser-Pryce was nominated for the World Athlete of the Year honor after winning gold in both the 100m and 200m at the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow this past summer. She also anchored Jamaica’s dominant victory in the women’s 4 by 100m relay at the same event and is the winningest female runner on the track circuit this year.

Should Fraser-Pryce walk away with the distinguished honor, she will be the first Jamaican runner to win it since the legendary Merlene Ottey copped the award in 1990.

Fraser-Pryce’s compatriot and fellow Olympic gold medalist, Usain Bolt faces off against elite British long-distance runner, Mohamed Farah and Ukranian high jumper, Bohdan Bondarenko for the men’s version of the Athlete of the Year honor.

The winners for both awards will be announced at a ceremony on November 16.