Sheffield’s Jess Ennis pipped to major award by US sprinter Allyson

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SHEFFIELD superstar Jessica Ennis has missed out on being named the 2012 Female Athlete of the Year after American sprinter Allyson Felix won the award.

Olympic heptathlon champion Ennis was on the three-strong final shortlist, but lost out to Felix, who won three gold medals at London 2012, at an IAAF ceremony in Barcelona on Saturday.

Felix, 27, won the 200 metres and the 4x100m and 4x400m titles in the summer.

New Zealand shot putter Valerie Adams had also been in contention.

Usain Bolt won the men’s award for the fourth time in the last five years.

He beat Olympic 800m champion David Rudisha and 110m hurdles gold medallist Aries Merritt.

The pair have both set world records this year, while Bolt successfully defended his three sprint titles.

“This means a lot to me as this was one of my hardest years,” Bolt, who had fitness concerns in the run-up to the Olympics.. “My coach doesn’t want us to discuss injuries, so I didn’t talk about it.”

Felix said: “It is pretty much one of the coolest awards I’ve ever received. Winning it means you are at the top of your sport, which is something we all strive for. To finally reach the goal during the journey of a long career is very special.”

Bolt, meanwhile, has confirmed he wants to compete in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

The participation of the Jamaican sprint star would be a huge boost for the event’s organisers. Bolt, who retained his 100, 200 and 4x100 metres titles at London 2012, does not have a Commonwealth gold medal, having missed the 2010 Games.

“That’s the only title I don’t have so I think it’s something I’d like to go for, even if I do just one event,” he said.