Sports

Usain Bolt honoured ahead of Toronto meet

The world's fastest man, triple Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt, is the 2009 Laureus World Sportsman of the Year, an award the 22-year-old was presented with one day before he competes at Toronto's Festival of Excellence.

The world's fastest man added another piece of hardware to his collection on Wednesday.

Usain Bolt, Jamaica's triple gold medallist who set three world records at last summer's Beijing Olympics, is the 2009 Laureus World Sportsman of the Year.

Fellow track legends and Olympic gold medallists Michael Johnson and Edwin Moses presented the 22-year-old sprinter with the award on Wednesday, one day before he's set to run the 100-metres in the Festival of Excellence in Toronto.

Past winners of the Laureus include Roger Federer, Lance Armstrong and Tiger Woods.

Also nominated were 14-time Olympic gold medallist Michael Phelps, Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal, Manchester United soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo, race car driver Lewis Hamilton and motorcycle racer Valentino Rossi.

A grinning Bolt, Laureus trophy in hand, told CBC News it would be difficult to top his Olympic performance, where he became the first sprinter to set three world records (100m, 200m and 4X100m relay) at the same Olympics. 

"Fame for me is to become a legend in this sport," Bolt said. "I have the world championship coming up this year in track and field, so I'm working towards that, being the champion in that.

"I keep working over the years to be the champion at every championship that comes up, so I'm just trying to become a legend, that's the aim for me right now."

On Thursday, Bolt will race at Toronto's Varsity Stadium in the 100m event, where he holds the world record of 9.69 seconds.

Among those also in the race will be American Shawn Crawford, who has the next fastest time at 9.88 seconds. Crawford won won gold in the 200m at the 2004 Games and finished 0.66 seconds behind Bolt in the event in Beijing.

Canadian Olympians competing at the Festival of Excellence include hurdlers Perdita Felicien and Olympic bronze medallist Priscilla Lopes-Schliep, 400-metre runner Tyler Christopher, Nate Brannen in the mile and women's 800-metre wheelchair racer Tracey Ferguson.

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