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Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards: Bolt, SFP rule

Published:Saturday | January 11, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce
Usain Bolt
Alia Atkinson
Warren Weir
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Weir, Atkinson the runners-up

Andre Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter

Sprinting luminaries Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce are the recipients of the 2013 RJR Sports Foundation Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year awards. In other news, water is wet.

It really was the worst kept secret of the new year.

Little questions there were, as to who would be crowned Jamaica's top male and female sporting stars, after the pair's all-conquering 2013 season on the track. Perhaps there was more surprise in the runner-up positions, and yet again, maybe not.

Like he did at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, 200m silver medallist Warren Weir finished behind Bolt, claiming the runner-up spot in the Sportsman of the Year ballot, with swimming standout Alia Atkinson named the runner-up to the Sportswoman of the Year.

It has been as good a season for Bolt and Fraser-Pryce off the track, as it has been on it, with the fleet-footed superstars sweeping one award after the other; adding the country's most coveted symbol of sporting excellence to their nods at the IAAF World Athlete of the Year Awards in Monte Carlo, as well as wins at the Jamaica Athletics Administration Association's Golden Cleats awards.

Dominant Season

Fraser-Pryce closed the cap on what has been the most dominant season by a female sprinter in world athletics, taking World Championship gold medals in the 100m and 200m before joining her Jamaican teammate to romp to a convincing 4x100m relay gold in the second-fastest time in history, 41.29 seconds.

The recently turned 27-year-old also helped herself to a Diamond Race sprint double, also closing the year in style with the fastest 100m and 200m times.

This was Fraser-Pryce's second win after last year's triumph.

Bolt was his usual exceptional self; winning gold medals in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m in Moscow, while ending the year as the fastest man over 200m with a season's best time of 19.66 seconds.

This was Bolt's third straight win and his fifth overall, making him the joint second-most successful man at these awards along with fellow sprinting great Donald Quarrie with boxing legend Michael McCallum leading the way with eight wins.

Also last night at the function, which took place at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, International Netball Federation president, Molly Rhone, a former national player and president of the Jamaica Netball Association, was presented with the Sagicor Iconic Award for her contribution to the development of the sport in Jamaica and across the globe.

Meanwhile, legendary jockey Winston Griffiths was named the recipient of the Chairman's Award, a selection made by Gary Allen, chairman of the RJR Sports Foundation.

Former Prime Minister Percival James Patterson was the guest speaker at the function.