French sports daily L'Equipe announced their annual awards for the 2012 year in sport this week with Olympic gold medalists' Usain Bolt and Teddy Riner leading the list.
The well respected paper handed Bolt the men's 'Champion of World Champions' award for the third time following his second Olympic treble at the London Games where the Jamaican sprinter won the 100m and 200m before anchoring his country to the 4x100m crown.
Five-time world champion Riner added Olympic gold in the open category of men's judo to land the 'Champion of French Champions' trophy while 23-year-old swimmer Camille Muffat took the women's award thanks to her 400m freestyle gold, 200m silver and 4x200m bronze in the English capital.
"It warms my heart and I am sincerely honored," said Riner.
"To be on the front page of this paper, I can tell your is really something. To win this is a bit like a footballer winning the Ballon d'Or (European player of the year) and now I have my Ballon d'Or," continued the 23-year-old Frenchman.
Muffat who became only the second French woman to win swimming gold after Laure Manadou in 2004 was equally thrilled.
"It's an honor not only to be the best swimmer of the year but also the best sportswoman. Even If I am Olympic champion, it is still a surprise because I am not the only one," said Muffat.
American tennis star Serena Williams picked up the 'Champion of World Champions' gong for women following another brilliant year on the WTA circuit as she took her Grand Slam tally to 15 and won her fourth Olympic gold and first in singles.
"I am super excited to win this award for the first time, it's great. I'm very touched. In this Olympic year, so many athletes could have won this award and it's incredible that a tennis player wins it."
The 'Champions of Legend's Champions' was given to 1956 Olympic marathon champion Alain Mimoun who also won 5000m and 10,000m silver medals at the 1952 Games held in Helsinki as well as a third silver medal in the 10,000m at London in 1948.
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