Bolt, Fraser-Pryce head nominees for RJR awards
Track superstars, Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, headline a stellar cast of five men and eight women nominated for the 55th annual RJR Sports Foundation's 2015 National Sportsman and Sportswoman Awards.
Sports persons from seven categories will be up for awards on January 15, 2016, where the winners will be named.
Bolt has won the main award on five occasions while Fraser-Pryce has won it twice.
Bolt was the outstanding male athlete at the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing. He won gold in the 100m, 200m, and 4x100 metres.
Fraser-Pryce won the 100m at the World Championships in a brilliant 10.76 and also anchored the 4x100m team to victory in a championship record 41.07 seconds.
The other male nominees are Fedrick Dacres for his discus gold at the XVII Pan American Games in Toronto and coming seventh in the final at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing; World Championships 110m hurdles silver medallist Hansle Parchment; shot putter O'Dayne Richards, who won bronze in Beijing; and Pan American Games 200m silver-medal winner Rasheed Dwyer.
In the women's category, the other nominees are boxer Alicia Ashley, who regained the WBC World Super Bantamweight title with a 10-round unanimous decision over veteran Irish Boxer Christina McMahon; swimmer Alia Atkinson, who set a national record 30.11 seconds in taking silver in the 50 metres backstroke at the FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia; World 100 meters hurdles gold medallist Danielle Williams; Veronica Campbell Brown, who earned bronze at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing with a season best of 21.97 and also ran on the winning 4x100m relay team; Shericka Jackson, who earned an individual bronze in the 400m and gold in the 4x400m; World 200m silver medallist and 4x100m gold-medal winner Elaine Thompson and Sherone Simpson, who won gold in the 100m at the Pan Am Games in Canada in a season best 10.95 seconds, her fastest time in seven years.
Michael Fennell, Jamaica Olympics Association president and chairman of the selection committee, praised the outstanding performers of 2015 at yesterday's press launch at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel.
In defending those nominated, Fennell told The Gleaner: "Those are the people who have been preparing for the Rio (2016 Olympics). The only one outside of that would be Alicia (Ashley), who is a professional boxer, but these are the people who have been fine-tuning for Rio and it was a fantastic year for those people."
Gary Allen chairman, RJR Sports Foundation; Ingrid Card, vice-president group marketing and public relations at Sagicor Life; Christopher Denny, vice-president distribution Victoria Mutual; and Sean Latty, chief operating officer Digicel Jamaica Limited, also spoke at yesterday's launch.
Sir Hilary Beckles, vice-chancellor of the University of the West Indies, will be the guest speaker at January's awards function.