LAUSANNE – Nine-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt was voted the AIPS Best Male Athlete of 2016 for a record sixth time and the award for Best Female Athlete went to US gymnast and four-time champion from Rio 2016 Simone Biles: this is the result of the most international poll yet by the International Sports Press Association (AIPS), where a panel of 382 journalists from 110 countries voted for the Champions of 2016.

Earlier today, it was announced that Premier League Champions Leicester City F.C. were voted the Best Team, while the award for the Best Press Facility went to Euro 2016. 

BEST MALE ATHLETE 2016

Proving to be the star of yet another Olympic year, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt completed a “triple triple” at Rio 2016, winning the Olympic titles in each of the 100m, 200m and 4x100m, after similar clean sweeps in London and Beijing.

Bolt is the first man to hold both the 100m and 200m records, and will be looking for his 12th IAAF World Championship title at London 2017, after which the Jamaican superstar is set to retire.

Bolt topped of an unforgettable year with the premiere of the documentary “’I Am Bolt”, which follows the life of the Jamaican sprinter, showing the “hard work that goes into making being the world greatest ever runner look easy”

Bolt is the AIPS Champion of the Year for a record sixth time, with a landslide of 1149 votes, ahead of US swimmer and 23-time Olympic Gold medalist Michael Phelps, while Portugal and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, winner of the 2016 Golden Ball, is in third place with 387 votes.

1 – Bolt Usain – athletics 1149 (33.42%)

2 – Phelps Michael – swimming 490 (14.25%)

3 – Ronaldo Cristiano – football 387 (11.26%)

4 – Murray Andy – tennis 159 (4.62%)

5 – Rosberg Nico – Formula 1 146 (4.25%)

6 – Messi Lionel – football 124 (3.61%)

7 – Lebron James – basketball 119 (3.46%)

8 – Djokovic Novak – tennis 114 (3.32%)

9 – Mo Farah – athletics 91 (2.65%)

10 – Del Potro Juan Martín – tennis 90 (2.62%)

BEST FEMALE ATHLETE 2016

The Olympic Games were the main stage for the Female Athletes of the year as well, as Simone Biles, the 19-year-old superstar from Rio 2016 stole the show, by winning a record-tying four individual Olympic gold medals and bronze with the dominant U.S. women’s team.

Biles, already regarded as one of the greatest Olympic gymnasts of all time, wowed the crowds in Rio with performances of dazzling complexity and focus and was pronounced as the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year earlier this week.

The race for the AIPS Best Female Athlete of 2016 was one of the closest yet, with just over 50 votes separating first place Simone Biles (524) from three-time Olympic champion swimmer Katinka Hosszú from Hungary, in second place with 472 votes. Third place went to US tennis star Serena Williams (361) after yet another dominant year in which she won her 22nd Grand Slam title at Wimbledon.

1 – Biles Simone – gymnastics 524 (15.24%)

2 – Hosszú Katinka – swimming 472 (13.73%)

3 – Williams Serena – tennis 361 (10.5%)

4 – Ledecky Katie – swimming 319 (9.28%)

5 – Ayana Almaz – athletics 279 (8.12%)

6 – Kerber Angelique – tennis 250 (7.27%)

7 – Dibaba Genzebe – athletics 160 (4.65%)

8 – Felix Allyson – athletics 149 (4.33%)

9 – Trott Laura – cycling 125 (3.64%)

10 – Gut Lara – alpine skiing 112 (3.26%)

AIPS members from the following nations participated in the Best of 2016 poll:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Dr Congo, Ecuador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Great Britain, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyz Republic, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Palestine, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sudan, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, USA, Venezuela, Yemen

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