Usain Bolt (left) and Melaine Walker (centre) pose with JAAA President Howard Aris after receiving their Male and Female of the Year awards (Anthony Foster) © Copyright
General News Kingston, Jamaica

Bolt, Walker and Mills honoured in Kingston

Triple Olympic Games gold medallist Usain Bolt and Melaine Walker, the women's 400m Hurdles winner in Beijing, are Jamaica's male and female athletes of the year respectively.

Bolt, already the World Athlete of the Year, set World records in winning 100m (9.69), 200m (19.30) and 4x100m relay (37.10) gold at the Beijing Games, having already broken the world mark for the 100 earlier on in the season.

Howard Aris, President of the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association (JAAA), presented the award to Bolt.

"It is good to be recognised by the JAAA because they have done a lot of work by trying to develop the athletes and track and field in Jamaica overall. I really appreciate it," said Bolt. Glen Mills, the man behind Bolt's success, was voted Coach of the Year.

Walker was singled out from a trio of Jamaican gold medallists in Beijing, beating out 200m champion Veronica Campbell-Brown and 100m gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser

"I know Veronica ran well and Shelly-Ann came out and became the first (Jamaican) female to win the 100m, which is also a superb performance, but there were other things that may have contributed (towards my success)," explained Walker.

"I would not have a problem whosoever with who was chosen as the Athlete of the Year but I am glad that I am the one that came out on top, but those ladies are also superb athletes," she said.

Walker, enjoyed 13 successive victories (finals only), including her Olympic title-run of 52.64 which was an Olympic and Jamaican record. Her only loss at the hurdles came in her opening race in Sydney in February.

Anthony Foster for the IAAF