Bolt sprints away with World Sportsman of the Year award

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Three gold medals at the World Championships were enough to lift Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt to his second consecutive Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award in Abu Dhabi Wednesday night

Bolt picked up gold in the 100 metres, 200m and 4x100m relay at the Berlin World Championships, setting new world records in those first two events along the way.

Those performances were enough to help the sprinter see off a field for the top award that included tennis star Roger Federer, motorcycling world champion Valentino Rossi, Barcelona footballer Lionel Messi, Tour de France winner Alberto Contador and distance-running world champ Kenenisa Bekele.

Bolt was handed the World Sportsman of the Year in 2009 following on from his triple-gold medal winning efforts at the Beijing Olympics.

He was unable to attend Wednesday night's glittering ceremony due to his strict training program but spoke to the gathered athletes and luminaries at the Emirates Palace hotel via video feed from his homeland.

"I've been working out and staying focused,'' said Bolt. "With me anything is possible so I'll just keep working and keep breaking records.''

Tennis star Serena Williams also picked up her second Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award, recognition for a season that saw the American pick up Grand Slam titles in Australia and at Wimbledon. It came seven years after Williams picked up her first world award.

The 2010 Laureus World Sports Awards were in recognition of sporting achievements between January 1 and December 31, 2009.

And the winners are:

World Sportsman of the Year: Usain Bolt (athletics)

World Sportswoman of the Year: Serena Williams (tennis)

World Team of the Year: Brawn GP Formula One

World Breakthrough of the Year: Jenson Button (Formula One)

World Comeback of the Year: Kim Clijsters (tennis)

World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability: Natalie du Toit (disabled swimming)

World Action Sportsperson of the Year: Stephanie Gilmore (surfing)