Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Bolt, Thompson tipped to top RJR Awards

Published:Friday | January 13, 2017 | 1:00 AMRachid Parchment
Jackson
Omar McLeod
Samuels
Taylor
Atkinson
Bolt
Elaine Thompson
Fraser-Pryce
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Track and field is expected to again dominate tonight's RJR Sports Foundation National Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year awards ceremony as the island's sporting standouts are recognised.

Rio de Janeiro 2016 multiple gold medallists Usain Bolt and Elaine Thompson are the overwhelming favourites for the top honours at the gala event, which takes place at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel at 7:00 this evening.

If all goes according to the script, it will continue the sport's dominance of the awards.

Bolt was nominated for his dominance at the Rio Olympics, winning gold in the 100 and 200 metres and the 4x100m relay, taking his overall total of Olympic gold medals to nine.

Sprint hurdler Omar McLeod won gold in the 110m hurdles event in Rio, the first Jamaican to triumph in the event at the Games. He also became the first Jamaican men's 60m hurdles champion at the World Indoor Games held in Portland, Oregon, last February.

West Indies cricketer Marlon Samuels is the third and final in the men's section, and this is for his top score of 85 not out to guide the West Indies to the ICC World Twenty20 title last April.

OLYMPIC DOUBLE

Elaine Thompson became the first woman to win double Olympic gold in the 100 and 200m sprints since 1988 and took a silver medal as part of Jamaica's 4x100m relay team in Rio. She also equalled the national record of 10.70 in the women's 100m sprint at the JAAA's National Championships in June and also won the Diamond for the women's 100m in the IAAF Diamond League in 2016.

Last year's winner, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, had a creditable 2016 after taking bronze in the 100m sprint and silver in the 4x100m at the Olympics, while carrying a toe injury.

Alia Atkinson is also nominated for breaking the 50m short-course breaststroke world record in a time of 28.64 seconds at the FINA Swimming World Cup in Tokyo, Japan last October.

Shericka Jackson is also nominated for her 400m bronze at the Rio Games, while cricketer Stafanie Taylor has been nominated for leading the West Indies Women's team to victory in the ICC Women's World Cup in India in April.

The People's Choice Award allows the public to vote for its favourite performance of 2016 and it includes five entries: Atkinson's world record swim; Thompson's 200m Olympic Final gold medal run; Calabar High's Christopher Taylor's brilliant anchor leg, which swept his team to victory in the 4x400m relay final at the 2016 Grace Kennedy ISSA Boys' Championships; Michael Binns' spectacular goal from 35 yards for Portmore United against Montego Bay United in the Red Stripe Premier League Final; and Yona Knight-Wisdom's series of dives to qualify for the 3m springboard semi-final at the Olympics.

The Victoria Mutual Building Society Youth Award is a new category, and here, nominees will be those considered "new talent", under 21 years old, and not professional.