Sport

Who will take the titles

RJR Sports Foundation to announce Sportsman and woman for 2013, and the People's Choice Awards

BY PAUL A REID Observer writer

Friday, January 10, 2014    

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THE top sports performers for 2013 will be recognised at tonight's RJR National Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year awards to be held at the Pegasus Hotel, starting at 8:30.

The list of nominees that was announced recently include Usain Bolt who also won the prestigious Laureus World Sportsman of the Year; IAAF World Championship medallists Nesta Carter and Warren Weir as well as WBA featherweight boxing champion Nicholas Walters on the men's side.

On the women side, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce will have swimmer Alia Atkinson, cricketer Stafanie Taylor, and boxer Alicia Ashley as her competitors for the award.

In addition to the awards for the top performers in a number of sporting events contested by Jamaicans during the 2013 calendar year, the People's Choice Performance of the Year 2013, which recognises a singularly outstanding performance to be voted on by fans, will also be announced. Voting for this award took place on the Jamaica Observer's website. The Observer is the official media partner for the event.

Athletes Javon Francis who ran a brilliant leg of the Jamaican men's 4x400m relay in the finals at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow in August, taking the team from fifth place to a silver medal; Holmwood Technical's Yanique Thompson who won a gold medal in the girls 100m hurdles at the IAAF World Youth Championships in Donetsk, Ukraine in July in a world youth best 12.94 seconds; male football player Jermaine 'Tuffy' Anderson whose goal against Costa Rica after coming on as a second -half substitute in a crucial FIFA CONCACAF World Cup qualifying game at the National Stadium kept Jamaica's slim hopes of qualifying alive; female football player Khadija Shaw who was voted the MVP of the CONCACAF Under-20 finals and race horse jockey Dane Nelson who rode six winners on one race card, are

the finalists.

For the second year, two outstanding juniors will also be recognised and will be chosen by the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) from nominees across their schools sporting disciplines, The awardee of the Sagicor-sponsored Iconic Award. will also be announced at the gala event.

Bolt and Fraser-Pryce are considered the outstanding favourites after outstanding 2013 seasons.

In Moscow, Bolt retained his 200m title and won the 100m he had lost in Daegu, South Korea in 2011 after he was disqualified for a false start then led the Jamaican team to their fifth straight global 4x100m title.

Fraser-Pryce defended her 100m title then added the 200m gold medal before also leading the Jamaican women team to the gold medal in the 4x100m relay, Jamaica's first since 1991.

Carter won the bronze medal in the men's 100m at the Moscow World Championships and was part of the men's relay team while Weir took the silver medal in the 200m behind Bolt.

Walters defended his WBA featherweight title in November, beating Alberto Gerza in Texas.

Atkinson followed up her fourth-place finish in the women's 100m breaststroke at the London Olympics in 2012 with an outstanding 2013 season where she won a number of gold medals on the swimming World Cup circuit.

Taylor continued to be one of the best women's cricketers in the world while Ashley successfully defended her WBC super bantamweight title last year.

At the announcement of the nominees last year, Mike Fennell, selection committee chairman, reminded the audience that the athletes were being rewarded for performance not effort.

"There are specific categories, starting with the highest level at the Olympics and all ratified World Championships for the various sporting disciplines before moving downwards to the Commonwealth Games and the Pan American Games," Fennell said.

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