“You Are Such a Great Role Model”: Usain Bolt Hails Naomi Osaka After Her Latest Achievement

Published 05/08/2021, 6:30 AM EDT
Mar 29, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Naomi Osaka of Japan hits a backhand against Elise Mertens of Belgium (not pictured) in the fourth round in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Sprint King Usain Bolt has congratulated women’s tennis superstar Naomi Osaka on winning the prestigious Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year award for 2021.


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The Japanese star and current women’s World No.2 was conferred with her second Laureus award after winning the Breakthrough of the Year honor in 2019.

Usain Bolt says award is a recognition of Naomi Osaka’s hard work


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Heaping praise on Osaka in a video message that was shared by Laureus Sports on its Instagram page, the eight-time Olympic gold medalist, who was nicknamed the ‘the fastest man on the planet’, said winning the award is a massive moment in an athlete’s career and it has taken years of hard work and dedication for her to get the coveted piece of honor.

In an interview, the 23-year-old Japanese had named Bolt as one of her role models, saying that watching him sprint to glory at the Olympics gave her the greatest joy.

She added that not just herself but all members of her family, including her father, are huge fans of the Jamaican track-and-field legend.


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Starting off his personalized video message for the reigning Australian Open champion with a “Hi Naomi, Usain here,” Bolt said. “I just want to congratulate you on winning the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year award. I know you’re gonna be very happy because I was very happy the first time I won it.”

He added that he has been following her career “for a while now” and knows that she put in her all to get this special moment in her career.

Usain Bolt says Naomi Osaka has shown what dedication can do

Bolt said he knows that she happens to be a fan of his, adding that he acknowledges the effort she put in to become a “champion and one of the best in the world”.

He added that he also appreciates how Osaka has grown into an icon for aspiring women and men across the world through sheer grit and dedication to her sport.

“I’m so happy that you are such a great role model for all the athletes and show the women athletes around the world what hard work and dedication can do. So, congratulations once again,” the sprint legend said.


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The congratulatory message drew a response from current men’s World No.5 Stefanos Tsitsipas, who is friends with the Japanese star.

The reigning Monte-Carlo Masters champion reacted to Bolt’s post with emojis.


“Watched so Many Of My Idols Win This Award”: Naomi Osaka Upon Receiving Laureus Sportswoman of the Year Award

about 1 month ago


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The WTA, too, responded to the champion sprinter’s message with emojis.


Priyabrata Chowdhury

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Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.