Second NSC top award for Ryan
UNFORTUNATE to finish fifth in the world. Destined to remain Barbados’ No. 1.
He wasn’t present at the Frank Collymore Hall, but Ryan Brathwaite hardly fails to show up when his name is called – a point duly acknowledged when the Olympic hurdler was once again honoured as the Sports Personality Of The Year during Saturday’s National Sports Awards Ceremony.
It was the second time in four years that the country’s highest sporting honour was bestowed upon the 24-year-old former World champ, who missed out on Olympic bronze by two places at the 2012 London Games.
He also had to miss the glitz and glamour of local sports’ biggest night, with dad Eugene collecting two hand-crafted wooden ornaments, a dazzling crystal vase and a cheque for an undisclosed sum of money for his son.
And that’s not all the night had in store for one of the world’s best.
In acknowledgement of a stirring comeback season, Brathwaite was also honoured the Senior Outstanding Male Sportsperson, beating a top-class field that included West Indies pacers Kemar Roach and Tino Best along with world No. 492 tennis player Darian King.
Roach wasn’t to be left out of the money though, winning the Minister’s Award following a season that saw the 24-year-old among the world’s leading wicket-takers with 39 scalps in eight Tests at an average of 22.
Like Brathwaite, Roach was unavailable for the ceremony, leaving a beaming mom Valerie to accept the award on his behalf after watching a video clip of his 2012 highlights on the big screen.
A similar video montage for Chelsea Tuach’s achievements would’ve been too long, as the world No.11 junior female surfer rattled off a series of top international finishes on her way to both the Junior and Senior Outstanding Female Sportsperson awards.
It was her third junior award in four years after the California-based 17-year-old won seven contests outside of Barbados and became the first surfer to be voted as the Barbados Olympic Association’s Junior Female Athlete for two successive years.
Wicketkeeper batsman and Tuach’s fellow Queen’s College schoolmate, Shai Hope, took home the male equivalent for the first time, along with the Emerging Athlete Award, for his breakout season in the regional Under-19 cricket tournament during which he scored four centuries.
The prolific 19-year-old also amassed 908 runs at an average of 141.72 when he was based at English school St Bede’s last year.
Breakout performances weren’t limited to Hope’s efforts though, as Warrens shared the Club Award with Lime Sports Club after the first-year club captured both basketball’s Premier League title and the women’s volleyball league title.
Ottis Gibson was awarded the Coach Of The Year following the West Indies’ triumph at the ICC Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka while seasoned NATION sports journalist Sherrylyn Toppin copped her eighth Media Award.
West Indies legend Sir Wesley Hall delivered the main address under the theme Sports And Fair Play following entertainment from the CP Unit, Lamaar Coward and Janine White.