Bolt yet again captured the world's attention when he added three more Olympic gold medals to his collection in Rio. He won the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m relay--matching his gold medal tally from London and Beijing. This is the Jamaican's sixth World Athlete of the Year award.
Ethiopian native Ayana broke the 10,000m World record in Rio by running 29:17.45 for gold, months after running the fastest debut in the distance at the Ethiopian Olympic trials. She recorded the second-fastest 5000m mark of all-time with her 14:12.59 run in June and went on to finish third in the Olympic 5000m final to take home bronze.
Both Bolt and Ayana beat stiff competition for the award. Bolt defeated 400m World record-holder/Olympic gold medalist Wayde van Niekerk of South Africa and 10,000m/5000m double gold medalist Mo Farah of Great Britain, while Ayana defeated 100m/200m Olympic gold medalist Elaine Thompson of Jamaica and World record-holder/Olympic champion Anita Wlodarczyk of Poland.