Sprint king Bolt and tennis queen Williams take top honours in USSA Awards

Thursday, 27 December 2012
By Tom Degun

Usain Bolt looking at gold medal London 2012December 27 -  Jamaican sprint icon Usain Bolt and American tennis star Serena Williams have been named the United States Sports Academy's (USSA) 2012 Male and Female Athletes of the Year respectively after both producing a phenomenal 12 months.

Bolt unsurprisingly takes the top male prize after the 26-year-old from Trelawny became the first man to defend both the 100 and 200 metres Olympic titles, as well as the 4x100m relay crown, at London 2012.

At the Olympics, Bolt won the 100m in an Olympic record of 9.63sec before taking the 200m in 19.32, just 0.13 seconds off his own world record.

Bolt then matched the triple Olympic gold medal haul he took at Beijing 2008 as he anchored the Jamaica 4x100m relay team to victory in a world record of 36.84.

Williams took the women's prize after the 31-year-old from Michigan claimed two Olympic gold medals at London 2012 in addition to winning singles titles at Wimbledon and the US Open.

Williams claimed both singles and doubles gold at London 2012, with the doubles win coming alongside her sister Venus.

Serena Williams London 2012Serena Williams was named the USSA 2012 Female Athlete of the Year after taking two gold medals at London 2012 in addition to winning Wimbledon and the US Open

The doubles win means that both sisters are the only tennis players in Olympic history to win four gold medals.

Her wins at Wimbledon and the US Open mean that Williams' now possesses 15 Grand Slam titles overall, which is sixth on the all-time list.

Bolt and Williams dominated the voting in the 28th consecutive year that the USSA has overseen the Athlete of the Year Awards, which was done in conjunction with NBC Sports.

In the men's awards, American swimmer Michael Phelps, whose 22 Olympic medals make him the most decorated Olympian of all-time, finished second with tennis player Novak Djokovic in third.

In the women's category American Olympic swimmer Missy Franklin, who won four gold medals and one bronze medal at London 2012, was second with alpine skier Lindsey Vonn  third.

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