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Four on short list for Courtney Walsh Award

Published:Wednesday | September 30, 2015 | 4:23 PM
Warren Elliott
Novlene Williams-Mills

Four of the nation's top sport personalities have been shortlisted for this year's Courtney Walsh Award for Excellence, one of whom will walk away with the prestigious award at the presentation ceremony scheduled for The Jamaica Pegasus hotel on October 15 at 7 p.m.

The four athletes nominated by the selection committee are national chess champion Warren Elliot, 400-metre track star Novlene Williams-Mills, national football captain Rodolph Austin and veteran national netballer Sasher Gaye Henry.

Wearing the favourite tag for this year's award is cancer survivor Williams-Mills. The 33-year-old Olympic and World Championship bronze medalist was inspirational at the recent World Championships as she ran an amazing fourth leg to lead Jamaica to the 4x400m gold.

National chess icon Elliot has blazed a trail over three decades, winning a number of local and global championships. He is a seven-time National Chess Champion and represented the nation in seven Chess Olympiads.

He was technical director/coach of Jamaica's 2014 chess Olympiad Team in Tromso, Norway, and is currently the number-one ranked player locally and in the English-speaking Caribbean. He is one of only four FIDE Masters (an international chess title) in the country.

The third nominee is Jamaica football captain Austin, who plays as a midfielder for Danish Superliga club Brondby IF. Renowned as a tough tackling central midfielder, Austin can play in attacking as well as a central defender. Austin has won three Caribbean Cups with Jamaica and was a key part of the Reggae Boyz squad that qualified for the CONCACAF Gold Cup final earlier this year.

Senior netball player Sasher Gaye Henry is the other nominee. The 35-year-old has been playing with the Sunshine Girls since age 16 years. She was a member of the team that finished fourth at the last world cup and has helped the nation to three bronze (2007 World Cup, 2014 Commonwealth Games and Fast5 2010) and one silver (2009 Fast5) in her national career.