The RJR/GLEANER Sports Foundation, on Thursday, revealed the names of the athletes shortlisted for the annual RJR Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards, with the nominees including four track and field athletes.
Omar McLeod heads the list of nominees for the male award, following his exploits throughout the year in which he copped gold medals at the World Indoor Championship and IAAF World Championships in London. At the same time, he was responsible for the top seven times in the world and also establish a new national record of 12.90 seconds at the 2017 National Championships.
The 2017 IAAF Athlete of the Year nominee also achieved personal best times of 20.48 seconds (national record indoor) and 6.61 seconds over the 200m and 60m indoor events.
The list of seven, features sprint king Usain Bolt, who closed his stellar career with a bronze medal at the London World Championships. The world record holder copped the top prize at the last instalment of these awards.
National squash sensation Christopher Bennie is also vying for the title following his superb victory at the 2017 Caribbean Area Squash Association's (CASA) Senior Championships
Reggae Boys captain Andre Blake who became the first Jamaican footballer to receive the Golden Glove at the CONCACAF Gold Cup is another of the candidates short listed. He was indisputably, the best goalkeeper in this 2017 tournament, will be seeking to add to his credentials, the national sportsman title for 2017.
The sport of cricket has received three nominees in the form of hard hitting, left hand batsman Christopher Henry Gayle, Nikita Miller and Chadwick Walton who are all vying for the coveted title of Sportsman of the Year.
Gayle, recently smashed an unbeaten 146 off just 69 balls for the Rangpur Riders in the Bangladesh Premier League final against Dhaka Dynamites in Dhaka to became the first batsman to cross the 11.000 run mark in T20 cricket.
Miller who captained the Jamaica Scorpions to the final of the Regional Super50 tournament, had a very good season for the local boys, topping it off with his recent inclusion in the West Indies team to tour New Zealand.
Walton had some outstanding and scintillating showdowns during the season, which saw him produced the two highest individual scores of CPL 2017.
The 2016 winner, Elaine Thompson, is among the three candidates for the female Athlete of the Year. Despite not winning any medal at the summer’s World Championships, Thompson was still a dominant force. She was fantastic, copping several victories, both indoors and outdoors, including topping the 100m during the IAAF Diamond League.
Alia Atkinson should make it one better this year in the race to the top. The outstanding swim sensation was smashing records across the 2017 Fina Swimming World Cup and accumulated over 11 gold medals this year with a combined today of 51 world cup gold medals.
London World Championship 400m hurdles bronze medallist Ristannana Tracey is the third nominee in the female category. Tracey ran a personal best time of 53.74s, to USA Kori Carter who won the gold medal in 53.07s and Daliah Muhammad was second in 53.50 seconds.
A host of other team accolades and sectional prizes, including the Chairman’s Award and top junior athletes, will be presented on the night of the awards.
The awards ceremony for the 56th staging will take place on the 19th of January, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.