Photo: The Honourable Mike Fennell, Chairman of the Selection Committee for the RJR Sports Foundation National Sportsman and Sportswoman Awards making the announcements of the nominees for the 2015 awards at the launch at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston on Thursday.
Thirteen nominees, five men and eight women were announced for the 54th staging of the RJR Sports Foundation National Sportsman and Sportswoman Awards set for January 15, 2016 at the Jamaica Pegasus in Kingston.
The Awards is held annually, celebrating the country’s most remarkable men and women in sports along with their achievements for the previous calendar year. The launch took place on Thursday morning at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, Kingston.
The list of nominees announced by President of the Jamaica Olympic Association, The Honourable Mike Fennell includes Shelly Ann Fraser- Pryce a two time winner of the Sportswoman of the Year Award, along with four time winner Veronica Campbell-Brown. Fraser- Pryce who won her third 100m World Championship title, also piloted the women sprint relay team to a championship record performance and gold medal . She won the IAAF women’s 100M Diamond trophy with a perfect four wins from as many starts. She ended the year with the top three 100m times for 2015.
Campbell- Brown captured the 200m bronze medal in Beijing, before leading off the women’s sprint relay squad to the Gold medal. She was also a double medallist for Jamaica at the IAAF World Relays held in Bahamas.
The women ‘s sprint hurdles champion from Beijing, Danielle Williams will be in a good shot at the top prize after scintillating run to defeat a top quality field inside the Bird’s Nest. She secured what is only the second gold medal for Jamaica in that event, in a new personal best of 12. 57 seconds. She also won the Gold medal at this year’s World University Games in 12. 78 seconds.
Another of the nominee is Elaine Thompson who narrowly missed out on the 200m crown in Beijing, copping the silver medal in a personal best time of 21.66 seconds. She also ran a blistering second leg on the sprint relay team.
Fellow MVP athlete, 400m specialist Shericka Jackson earned a spot on the list , after copping the bronze medal in 49.9 seconds in what was her first World Championships. She was in awesome form on the second leg of the conquering 4x400 relay gold medal team.
The list also features the 2015 Pan Am Games 100m champion Sherone Simpson. Simpson was also a part of the semi-final quartet for the 4x100 sprint relay team.
Swimming sensation and 2014 Champion of the award, Alia Atkinson is again on the list of nominees. Atkinson was a double medallist at the FINA long Course World championship. She did exceptionally well on the FINA world cup circuit finishing the top five swimmers for 2015.
The list is completed by history making boxer Alicia Ashley. She secured the WBC female super bantamweight title against Christina McMahon, becoming the oldest female World Champion.
Usain Bolt, four time winner of the Sportsman of the Year trophy, headlines the all track and field male list. Bolt, who retained his 100 and 200 metres world titles in Beijing, copping his third triple Gold medal haul at the World Championships.
The others vying for the male award are Sprint hurdler Hansle Parchment and Rasheed Dwyer. Parchment became the first Jamaican athlete to win a sprint hurdles medal at the World Championship level, with a decent 13.03 seconds run in Beijing.
Pan Am Games Silver medallist Dywer clocked 19.80 to breaks Donald Quarrie 44 year old record in the heats, before returning to pocket the silver medal in the final.
The list is completed by field athletes O'Dayne Richards and Fedrick Dacres. Richards, won the shot gold medal at the pan Am games, before copping a historic bronze medal in China. He in the process equalled his personal best of 21.69m. Dacres also secured the 2015 Pan Am title with a massive 64. 80m. He managed to secure a 7th place finish at the World Championships.
Members of the public will once again have the chance to select the winner of the Performance of the Year from five nominees.
They include the nation rocking 4x400 relay victory by the women's team in Beijing. The other contenders features the surprise win for young Danielle Williams in the 100m hurdles final. The 90th minute strike by one Simon Dawkins at Nicagura to save the Reggae Boyz train from derailing.
Atkinson's effort in a neck and neck battle in her world silver medal performance, along with Christopher Gayle double century at the 2015 ICC World Cup completes the list nominees for the Performance of the Year.
The Sagicor Iconic and Chairman’s Award will also be on offer this year. The 2014 awards were one by Alia Atkinson and boxer Nicholas Walters respectively.