All roads led to Monaco for the 2013 IAAF World Athlete of the year award, the award which athletics fans regard to as the IAAF Ballon d'Or was held at the Salle des Etoiles of the Sporting Club d’Eté.
As expected, Jamaica's Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won the male and female categories respectively and it came with a huge compensation too. Bolt, who won the award for the fifth time, and Fraser-Pryce, a first-time winner, will also receive a prize of US$100,000.
Usain Bolt, 27, previously the World Athlete of the Year in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012, successfully defended both his 100m and 200m titles 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.
“This season will be the one to go for the (200m) World record,” announced Bolt.
“I want to get ready to attack the World record,” he added, hinting that below 19 seconds was the target.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, 26, regained her 100m title at the 2013 IAAF World Championships, winning in 10.71 which remained the fastest time of the year. After having run the fastest time of the year in the 200m, 22.13 at the Jamaican championships in June, she went on to win the gold medal over the longer sprint in Moscow.
Like her compatriot Bolt, she also anchored the Jamaican 4x100m team to victory, a national record and the second fastest time in history.
“I'm shocked and excited. It's something that has been a dream of mine,” said a delighted Fraser-Pryce, who becomes the second Jamaican woman to win, after Merlene Ottey in 1990.
“Not all the time do things happen that we want to happen, but this did,” she added.
Usain Bolt also used his Instagram page to congratulate his compatriot on her achievement. The greatest sprinter of all time wrote: 'Congrats @realshellyannfp for winning the IAAF female athlete of the year... #cleansweep #Jamaica#nostopping'