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Sprint king Bolt nominated for male athlete of the year gong

updated 2:36 PM EST, Mon November 5, 2012
Jamaica's Usain Bolt was peerless at the London Olympics, taking gold in all three of his sprint events
Jamaica's Usain Bolt was peerless at the London Olympics, taking gold in all three of his sprint events
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt leads nominations for IAAF male athlete of 2012
  • Bolt became the first man to retain his 100m and 200m Olympic titles in London
  • Kenya's Olympic 800m champion and WR holder David Rushida also included
  • America's 110m hurdles Olympic champion Aries Merritt completes list

(CNN) -- He became the first man in Olympic history to defend both his 100 meter and 200 meter crowns and Usain Bolt's gold-plated 2012 could be about to get a little better.

The fastest man on the planet was untouchable during the Games in London, completing his unprecedented sprint double and also picking up gold with Jamaica's 4x100m men's relay team.

It is no surprise then that Bolt leads the nominations for the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) male athelete of the year award.

Bolt is joined on the list by two other male stars that enjoyed a successful summer in the English capital.

Olympic hero Bolt to play for Manchester United?

The second athlete chosen is American Aries Merritt, who took the men's 110m hurdles crown in London, before breaking the world record at a meet in Belgium shortly after.

Jamaica's sprint pedigree
Watch crowds react to Usain Bolt's win
Usain Bolt takes Games gold in 100m

Merritt took seven hundredths of a second off the previous mark, held by Dayron Robles, which had stood for four years.

The 27-year-old also took gold over the 60m distance at the World Indoor Championships held in the Turkish city of Istanbul in March.

The third nominee is David Rushida, who holds one landmark Bolt will never gets his hands on after the Kenyan became the first man to break a world record on the track in London's Olympic Stadium.

The 23-year-old was the first person to run under one minute and 41 seconds in the 800m as he broke his own world record storming to gold.

His performances drew praise for the chairman of the London Organizing Committee, Sebastian Coe, who called Rushida "the most impressive track and field athlete at these Games."

But there is no place for Britain's Mo Farah, who joined an elite list of distance runners by taking Olympic gold in both the 5,000m and 10,000m.

Bolt will be favorite to take the award after dominating the sprint category in London just as he did in Beijing four years previously.

The 26-year-old held off the challenge of compatriot Yohan Blake to secure his 100m and 200m double, labeling himself the "greatest athlete" to have lived after his triumph.

Bolt's holds the world record in both disciplines and holds six Olympic gold medals, after also winning the men's 4x100m relay in 2008.

The winner will be crowned on 24 November during the IAAF's Centenary Celebrations in the Spanish city of Barcelona.

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