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Bolt takes athlete of the year honours

AAP logoAAP 2/12/2016

Usain Bolt has been named men's world athlete of the year for the sixth time at a gala hosted by athletics governing body IAAF in Monte Carlo Friday, with Almaz Ayana taking her first women's crown.

Jamaican sprint star Bolt dominated the Olympic Games in Rio earlier by defending his titles over 100-metres, 200m and in the 4x100m for a historic triple triple of gold medals.

Ethiopia's Ayana smashed the world record over 10,000m in Rio to claim gold and subsequently added bronze in the 5,000m.

Belgian Olympic gold medallist in heptathlon Nafissatou Thiam took the female rising star award while Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse took the male equivalent after three Rio medals behind Bolt.

"The sixth time means as much to me as the first," Bolt said."

Bolt won the award in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013 but earlier Friday admitted his pace was beginning to slip as age took a toll.

"The 200 metres is very hard work and I'm coming to the end of my career," the 30-year-old Bolt said.

In the previous season Bolt believed he could break his 200m world record of 19.19 seconds but said he no longer thought it likely going into his final campaign in 2017, which will peak with the August world championships in London.

London will also be a farewell on the track for Britain's distance king Mo Farah who was in the final shortlist against Bolt but lost out, as did South African 400m world record holder Wayde van Niekerk.

Ayana beat out Jamaican sprinter Elaine Thompson, who did the 100m/200m double in Rio, and Olympic hammer throw champion Anita Wlodarczyk of Poland for her award.

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