Usain Bolt, Sally Pearson given awards
MONACO -- Jamaican runner Usain Bolt won a record-tying third track and field athlete of the year award Saturday despite losing his dominating hold on the 100 meters in 2011.
Joining Bolt was Australian Sally Pearson, who clinched her first trophy for a nearly flawless season in the 100 hurdles.
In a vote that was said to be exceptionally tight, Bolt beat his Jamaican training teammate and new 100-meter world champion Yohan Blake, and 800-meter champion David Rudisha.
After being disqualified for a false start in the 100 final at the world championships in Daegu, South Korea, Bolt won the 200 and anchored the Jamaican team to a world record in the 4x100 relay.
Pearson ran the fastest hurdles race in 19 years to clinch the world title and saw a perfect season go to waste when she crashed in the last Diamond League race in Brussels. She beat double long-distance world champion Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya and New Zealand shot putter Valerie Adams.
With his third title, Bolt equaled Moroccan middle distance great Hicham El Guerrouj, who won the honor three straight years starting in 2001.
Bolt says he wants to go for four gold medals at next summer's London Olympics, adding the 4x400 relay to his schedule.
The defending Olympic champion in the 100, 200, and 4x100 from the 2008 Beijing Games said Saturday that if he is fit and if Jamaica can challenge for gold, he wants a place on the other relay team, even though he has never competed in the event at the top level.
"If I can help to get them a gold medal, I will want to go on that team," Bolt said.
The last male track and field athlete to win four gold medals at the Olympics was Carl Lewis at the 1984 Los Angeles Games.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press
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