Fraser-Pryce, Gayle named Jamaica's athletes of the year

By Sports Desk January 18, 2020

World Champions Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Tajay Gayle were named the 2019 RJRGleaner Sports Foundation Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year in an awards ceremony at the Jamaica Pegasus on Friday.

Fraser-Pryce saw the award presented to her for a fourth time, having previously claimed the honour in 2012, 2013 and 2015.  The recognition capped off an exceptional season for the diminutive sprinter who previously became the only athlete to win the 100m World Championship title on four occasions with triumph in Doha.

Quartermiler Shericka Jackson, who claimed three gold medals at the World Championships, with bronze in the 400m and 4x400m along with gold in the 4x100m, was runner up behind Fraser-Pryce.

The year was also an exceptional one for Gayle.  The athlete created history at the Doha World Championships after upstaging Juan Miguel Echevarria to claim top spot.  The winning jump was the longest in the world in 10 years.  It was also the farthest distance recorded at the World Championships since Ivan Pedroso’s 8.70m leap in Gothenburg, recorded some 24 years ago.

Fedrick Dacres, the World Championships discus silver medallist, was voted runner up to the Sportsman of the Year.  The other male nominees were Christopher Binnie (squash), Yona Knight-Wisdom (diving) and Travis Smikle (athletics).  Fraser-Pryce and Jackson were joined by Alia Atkinson (swimming) and Rushell Clayton, Natoya Goule, Shanieka Ricketts, Danniel Thomas-Dodd, Elaine Thompson and Danielle Williams.

Related items

  • Uncertainty surrounding volleyball restart continues to hurt players Uncertainty surrounding volleyball restart continues to hurt players

     The onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic led to sports coming to a standstill in March.  Since then quite a few have restarted. Horse racing restarted back in June. The first Test cricket match between the West Indies and England began in early July. The Jamaica synchro team started recruiting and training swimmers last month.

    For some, however, the silence surrounding their immediate future is deafening.  And, in the meantime, athletes continue to suffer significant losses from a lack of opportunity.  As of now, volleyball is one of those sports.

    Middle blocker for the Venus Volleyball Club, Rojey Hutchinson, is an athlete who finished university recently and was hoping to gain more from sports competitions right after.

    Hutchinson graduated from the University of Technology (UTech), Jamaica, in late 2019, and secured his diploma in mechanical engineering.

     He attended the university on a volleyball scholarship and has never forgotten that fact. “Volleyball got me where I am today. It gave me the opportunity to travel, experience different cultures, and gave me the opportunity to attend university on a volleyball scholarship,” Hutchinson explained.

     After completing his studies at UTech, Hutchinson looked forward to competing in the Venus International tournament that was scheduled to take place on March 20 – 22. However, due to the onset of the virus, the tournament was cancelled.

     The cancellation of the event that would have featured seven male and eight female teams— from Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, USA, and Jamaica, adversely affected Hutchinson. Admittedly, he looks forward to the tournament every year and knew he could have readily exploited the opportunities presented to him during this time since school was out of the way.

    He explained, “the Venus International Tournament is something we as volleyballers look forward to every year. We get to meet people and see the way they play volleyball. The tournament is played at a higher level than what we are used to in Jamaica with our local teams.”

    “It helps me to be more selective with my shots and it also helps me to be more disciplined on the court. We are playing against some of the top clubs in countries that are very good at volleyball and some of these guys played in the pro league and also on their national team.”

    The volleyballer, who has been playing with the Venus Volleyball Club for five years, says he hasn’t been training and has “no idea when volleyball will resume.”

    And neither does the Jamaica Volleyball Association (JaVA).

    According to JaVA, they cannot say for sure when volleyball competitions will resume since they’re still having discussions with the Ministry of Sport.

     

    Please share your thoughts on Twitter (@SportsMax_Carib) or in the comments section on Facebook (@SportsMax). Don’t forget to use #IAmNotAFan. Until next time!

     

  • World-leading run gets Thompson-Herah excited for next year's Olympic Games World-leading run gets Thompson-Herah excited for next year's Olympic Games

    Elaine Thompson-Herah said Thursday’s 100m win at the Diamond League meeting in Rome revealed what she needs to work on for next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

    Thompson-Herah ran a world-leading 10.85s in a dominating performance at the Diamond League meeting in Rome. She was metres clear of the USA’s Aleia Hobbs (11.12) and the Ivory Coast’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou, the bronze medallist from last year’s 100m final at the World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

    Thompson, who finished fourth in Doha in 10.93, said her performance on Thursday told her all she needed to know.

    “I leave here with the world-leading time, I'm super excited,” she said.

    “This tells me where I am at the end of this season, and tells me how I can prepare for next year. I am super excited.”

    The Covid-19 pandemic enforced a lot of changes to the track season and Thompson-Herah admitted that it has been challenging. However, she has managed to find the motivation she needs while looking forward to the Olympics where she intends to defend her Olympic double from Rio 2016.

    “This year required more adjusting, and my goal was to push back and to motivate myself,” she said. “I am a double Olympic champion, so I want to be in my top form next season. We had some competitions in Jamaica, but obviously, the field was not as strong as it is here.”

  • Chris Gayle and Avina Shah mix it up for Groove music video Chris Gayle and Avina Shah mix it up for Groove music video

    Universe Boss Chris Gayle is excited about the release of his new music video done in collaboration with British Indian singer Avina Shah. 

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.