Bolt top man, women share
KINGSTON – Usain Bolt, along with fellow sprinter Veronica Campbell-Brown and women’s cricketer Stafanie Taylor were named Jamaica’s top sports personalities for last year on Friday.
Bolt grabbed the men’s prize ahead of fellow sprinter Yohan Blake, while the voting panel failed to choose between Campbell-Brown and Taylor, forcing the women’s award to be shared for the third time in its history and for the first time in four years.
While Campbell-Brown and Taylor may have been straightforward choices for the women’s honour, the voting academy must have faced a stiff challenge choosing between Bolt and Blake for the men’s award.
Bolt, like Campbell-Brown, had a strong season on the track last year, highlighted by his capture of the 200-metre World title at the World Championships last year in Daegu, South Korea.
But Blake became the World 100 champion, following Bolt’s disqualification in the final in Daegu, but he, too, had a strong season on the track with an amazing 19.26 seconds in the 200 at a Diamond League meet in Brussels topping his performances.
Bolt had also been overlooked for the top men’s athlete award, when Jamaica’s track and field authorities staged their honours ceremony late last year.
The sprint megastar said in his acceptance speech that he and Blake would continue to work together at the Racers Track Club, where they are under the supervision of coach Glen Mills.
“We are good friends, and we will continue to make our country proud,” he said, while admitting there will be some rivalry.
Taylor had another excellent year, playing her way to her sport’s world governing body’s Women’s Cricketer-Of-The-Year award. She also ended the last year as the No.1 ranked women’s all-rounder in the world, No.2 in the batting and No.7 in bowling in the world One-day rankings.
Campbell-Brown was her usual impressive self, romping her way to a first-ever World Championships 200 gold medal shortly after taking a silver medal in the 100 at the same championships. She also helped the Jamaica women’s 4×100 team to a silver medal at Worlds. It was her fourth national sports personality award.
Bolt also collected the Icon award, while Asafa Powell, one of seven male nominees, won the People’s Choice Award for his victory at Jamaica’s World Championship trials. (CMC)