Sport

They have done it again!

Shelly, Bolt cop Golden Cleats Awards

BY SANJAY MYERS Observer staff reporter myerss@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, December 10, 2013    

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LIKE they did last season, women's sprint star Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and the world's fastest man Usain Bolt were crowned female and male Athlete of the Year, respectively, at the Scotiabank Group-sponsored Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) Golden Cleats Awards ceremony held yesterday at the Terra Nova Hotel.

The man who conditions Bolt at the Racers Track Club, Glen Mills, won a third-consecutive Coach of the Year award.

Jamaica's juniors were not to be outdone. The JAAA Howard Aris Award, established last year in memory of the late former athletics administrator, went to 17-year-old Yanique Thompson.

She, however, shared the Scotia Group/Howard Aris Scholarship with high jumper Christophe Bryan, who is also 17. They received scholarship amounts of $250,000 each.

The back-to-back 100-metre Olympic champion Fraser-Pryce won individual gold medals over 100 and 200 metres and anchored the Jamaicans to victory in the 4x100m event at the IAAF World Championship in Russia in August.

Fraser-Pryce's scintillating 2013 campaign was capped off when she memorably won the Diamond League Trophy for both sprint events.

In her vote of thanks she said it was an "extraordinary year" for Jamaicans from a track and field perspective.

Popularly called 'pocket rocket', due to her customary blazing propulsion from the starting blocks, Fraser-Pryce later told reporters that hard work paid off in 2013.

She expressed delight that athletes were acknowledged for all their effort.

"I'm feeling good and it just goes to show that a lot of hard work and being committed... even if you don't win, just to be acknowledged in what we do, feels good. Thanks to Scotia and the JAAA," said Fraser-Pryce, who turns 27 on December 27.

Neither the 27-year-old Bolt nor his coach Mills were present to accept their awards.

Bolt, the 100- and 200-metre world record holder and six-time Olympic sprint champion, mirrored the accomplishment of Fraser-Pryce with three gold medals at the 2013 World Championships.

Both Fraser-Pryce and Bolt were also named Female and Male World Athletes of the Year for 2013 at last month's IAAF ceremony in Monaco, France.

Aside from Bolt, the iconic Mills guides Warren Weir, Kemar Bailey-Cole, Edino Steele and Schillonie Calvert, among others.

Weir took the silver medal in the 200-metre men's race in Russia and won the Diamond League Trophy in the half-lap event.

Weir and Bailey-Cole were part of the successful 4x100-metre squad, while Calvert teamed with Fraser-Pryce and company to romp to victory in the female equivalent.

Steele was integral in the sensational silver medal exploits of the men's 4x400-metre outfit.

The small-framed Thompson, a Holmwood Technical student, won the women's 100m hurdles at the World Youth Championships in Ukraine in a world best time of 12.94 seconds.

Thompson said she is "very proud" and "happy that JAAA and Scotia have taken time out" to recognise the performances.

The towering Bryan, an outstanding high jumper, who attends Wolmer's Boys, told reporters that he is "elated" because he "did not expect to get this".

The Howard Aris award recognises young athletes who represent the country with distinction in non-traditional events and who also have displayed strong academic performances.

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