Jones is Rising Star
KINGSTON – Add another award to Akela Jones’ ever-growing list of accomplishments.
Barbados’ track and field princess was yesterday voted as a rising star by the Caribbean Sports Journalists Association in their first-ever annual sports awards.
Jones, a junior World Championships gold-medal winner in the long jump, and Austin Sealy award winner from this year’s CARIFTA games, was named alongside Guadeloupe’s hurdling sensation Wilhem Belocian as the two rising stars in the region.
The pick of the awards, however, were Kirani James and Kaliese Spencer, who earned the awards for top sportsman and sportswoman, respectively.
Barbados’ four-day captain Kraigg Brathwaite had also been nominated in the top sportsman section, and his squad in the competition for best team.
Grenadian star James and Spencer were the leading candidates to win the award for Sportsperson of the Year, so their choices were not surprising.
James dominated the 400 metres in 2014 and lost only once to American LaShawn Merritt, had a world-leading time of 43.74 seconds and won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Spencer claimed gold in the 400 metres hurdles at the Commonwealth Games and was also an IAAF Diamond League Trophy winner.
Also shortlisted among the men were Guyanese cricketer Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Jamaican Usain Bolt, despite his early close to the season.
Jamaican swimmer Alia Atkinson, netballer Romelda Aiken and Cuba’s Yarisley Silva were the other female nominees.
The best men’s team was won by Jamaica’s 4×200 metres men’s relay quartet which set a new world record at the IAAF World Relays in The Bahamas.
They finished ahead of Antigua and Barbuda’s senior football team and the Barbados cricket squad.
Triniad and Tobago’s women’s football team earnbed two votes to edge out Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls netballers in the female team category.
The winners were chosen by a six member panel, inclusive of Tonique Williams of The Bahamas, Ato Boldon and Shaka Hislop of Trinidad and Tobago, Vernon Springer of St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia’s Terry Finisterre and Kayon Raynor of Jamaica. (BA/PR)