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Bolt, Felix win 2012 athlete of the year awards

Jamaica's double Olympic champion sprinter Usain Bolt stikes a pose while inaugurating a Puma store in Barcelona November 23, 2012. REUTERS/
Jamaica's double Olympic champion sprinter Usain Bolt stikes a pose while inaugurating a Puma store in Barcelona November 23, 2012. REUTERS/

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Olympic champions Usain Bolt and Allyson Felix were named male and female athlete of the year respectively by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) at a ceremony in Barcelona on Saturday.

Jamaican Bolt, who retained his 100 and 200 meters titles in London in August, is the first man to win the award four times, while American Felix was honored for her gold medal in the 200 meters.

She was also part of the gold-winning U.S. 4x100 meters relay team, which was awarded female performance of the year after smashing the world record set in 1985 by East Germany.

Kenyan David Rudisha won male performance of the year for his dazzling run in the 800 meters in London, when he also set a world record.

Trinidad and Tobago's javelin gold medalist Keshorn Walcott and sprinter Anthonique Strachan of Bahamas were named as the rising stars of 2012.

(Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Alison Wildey)

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