PARIS Jamaica sprinter Usain Bolt, who retained his three Olympic titles at the London Games, was named sportsman of the year by French daily L'Equipe on Wednesday while American tennis player Serena Williams took the women's prize.
Bolt had already received the main French sports award in 2008, after he won the 100 metres, the 200m and the 4x100m relay at the Beijing Olympics, and in 2009.
"It has been a great season. I worked a lot to win again. It has been a real pleasure and an honour to defend my titles," Bolt told the new L'Equipe 21 TV channel.
"Now I look forward to Rio to break some records," added Bolt about the 2016 Olympics.
Serena Williams, who finished the year third in the WTA rankings despite winning Wimbledon, singles and doubles gold at the Olympics and the U.S. Open, took the women's award for the for the first time.
The 31-year-old was handed the trophy by the former world number one Martina Hingis.
The Olympics were all important in the annual poll with judo heavyweight gold medallist Teddy Riner and 400m freestyle swimming champion Camille Muffat winning the gongs for French athletes.
(Writing by Gregory Blachier; Editing by Mark Meadows)