News17 Nov 2013

A look back at Usain Bolt's and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce's year on the track


Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Usain Bolt, the 2013 IAAF World Athletes of the Year (© Giancarlo Colombo)

Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce were crowned as the Male and Female World Athletes of the Year at the World Athletics Gala on Saturday night (16), a fitting climax to the Jamaican athletes’ stunning seasons.

Bolt, 27, previously the World Athlete of the Year in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012, successfully regained his 100m title and won the 200m at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, winning the latter final in a 2013 world-leading time of 19.66.

He concluded his World Championships by anchoring a Jamaican quartet to the gold medals in the 4x100m Relay.

Bolt won 10 out of his 11 100m races (including heats), and was unbeaten in his five races over 200m.

His season started in February and March with two outings on home soil over 400m and then on 31 March he travelled to Rio for a famous outing over a straight 150 metres on the Copacabana beach, running 14.42.

His first 100m race of the year came in the Cayman Islands in early May which he won in an almost leisurely 10.09.

However, his next race, at the IAAF Diamond League in Rome, made headlines around the world when he was sensationally beaten by Justin Gatlin.

Bolt showed no ill-effects from that defeat at the next Diamond League meeting in Oslo, where he opened his 200m campaign with a good win in 19.79.

From the Norwegian capital it was back to Kingston where he competed in the Jamaican national championships, winning his 100m heat and semi-final before speeding to victory in 9.94.

He notched up a 200m win at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Paris in what was then a world-leading 19.73 on 6 July before taking the the 100m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in London three weeks later in 9.85.

Bolt arrived in Moscow for the IAAF World Championships in August as the favourite for both the sprints and didn’t disappoint.

He won both his heats and semi-finals in the 100m and 200m before taking both titles in 9.77 and 19.66 respectively and, on the final day of the championships, he received the baton from his team mate Nickel Ashmeade and took Jamaica to victory in 37.36, the fastest time in 2013.

His season came to an end with 100m wins at the IAAF Diamond League meetings in Zurich and Brussels, running 9.90 and 9.80 respectively.

Fraser-Pryce emulates Bolt in Moscow

Fraser-Pryce, 26, emulated Bolt and regained the 100m title at the 2013 IAAF World Championships, winning in 10.71 which remained the fastest time of the year and, like Bolt again, also won gold medals in the 200m and 4x100m relay in Moscow.

It was a long season for Fraser-Pryce who had her first race in January, an 11.47 outing on home soil in Kingston.

However, that was just an opportunity to stretch her legs and her first serious race came in May when she ran the 200m in 22.38 on her return to the Jamaican capital.

Fraser-Pryce then reeled off three trips in as many weeks to the IAAF Diamond League meetings in Doha, Shanghai and Eugene, winning all three races; the first a 200m in 22.48 then 100m victories in 10.93 and a windy 10.71.

At the end of June, she ran the 200m at the Jamaican national championships and uncorked a 22.13 win and she also continued to clock fast times internationally with a 10.92 100m win at the IAAF Diamond League in Paris.

However, the bubble burst in Birmingham when she finished second in the 200m at the end of June.

She returned to form with a 22.28 over 200m in Monaco on 19 July, although she only managed third place, and Britain continued to be a bit of a jinx when, despite a 100m 10.77 heat, she only managed to finish fourth in the final in 10.94.

However, everything came right in Moscow as she breezed through a flawless six races in the 100m and 200m, taking the titles in 10.71 and 22.17 before a sensational anchor leg in the 4x100m, with Jamaica clocking the second fastest time ever with a national record of 41.29.

Fraser-Pryce concluded her season with a 200m win in at the IAAF Diamond League final in Zurich with 22.40 and, a week later, a 100m win in 10.72 in Brussels to clinch the Diamond Race in both sprints.

Phil Minshull for the IAAF