JAAA to present award for top 2015 performance
Usain Bolt's 100 metres final win over American Justin Gatlin, Danielle Williams' women's 100m hurdles victory , the women's 4x400 team's gold medal performance, Elaine Thompson and Hansle Parchment's silver medal efforts in the 200m women and 110m hurdles respectively and Rusheen McDonald's national 400m record run in the heats at the World Championships are the outstanding performances nominated for a new and exciting award that will be on offer at this year's Scotiabank/JAAA Golden Cleats Awards ceremony.
The awards will be handed out on Saturday at the Chinese Benevolent Association Auditorium starting at 6:30 p.m.
The announcement of this and other awards available to top athletes for their performances during 2015 was made at Scotia Centre in Kingston yesterday.
President of the Jamaica Administrative Athletics Association (JAAA), Dr Warren Blake, said the nominations for the new award will be criticised by some but argued that there were many great performances over the course of the year and they chose four of the best.
"At this time of the year like any good administrator you have to recognise the excellence of your support staff, and in this case our athletes have done us very proud at the junior and senior level," he said while listing the nation's athletic achievements for 2015.
"At the end of the day a lot of people are not going to be satisfied, as what they consider to be the performance of the year was not included," Dr Blake said while pointing the performance of Christopher Taylor who won 400 metres gold in record time at the World Youth Championships.
"There were so many great performances that some had to be left out,' he insisted..
Meanwhile, sprint queen Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce will face tough competition to reclaim the prestigious female athlete of the year award she last won in 2013. Fraser-Pryce faces a strong challenge from Williams the world 100m hurdles champion, Thompson the world 200m silver medalist and Shericka Jackson the world 400m bronze medalist.
Bolts, who also last won the award in 2013, has a very good chance of retaking it, with Parchment and O'Dayne Richards, the world shot put bronze medalist will be his rivals for the award..
Stephen Francis, Glen Mills and hurdles coach Lennox Graham are the coach of the year nominees.
The top youth athletes, male and female, will also be recognised. The female nominees are St Andrew Technical's Ayesha Champaigne, Junelle Bloomfield of St Elizabeth Technical (STETHS) and Excelsior High's Shanice Love.
Edwin Allen High's Demar Gayle, Marvin Williams and Juvaney James of STETHS, Calabar's Christopher Taylor and Clayton Brown and O'brian Waysome of Jamaica College will make up the male selections.
Also, two to young athletes will be in line to receive the Howard Aris/Scotia scholarship, which will assist a male and female athlete in post secondary studies. The Howard Aris award will go to a junior athlete who has excelled in a non- traditional event.