Sprint queen Fraser-Pryce leads 143 distinguished Jamaicans to receive national honours
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce reacts after winning a 100 metre heat at the World Athletic Championships in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo: AP)

Double Olympic and multiple world 100-metre champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce leads a field of 143 Jamaicans who were announced on Independence Day as recipients of national honours awards for 2022.

Fraser-Pryce, 35, is among 10 persons who will receive the nation’s fifth-highest honour, Order of Jamaica (OJ).

There will be no recipients of the nation's fourth-highest honour, the Order of Merit (OM).

Highly regarded as one of the greatest sprinters of all time, Fraser-Pryce won her fifth women's 100-metre title at the just concluded World Athletics Championships in Oregon, United States.

She first burst onto the athletics scene at the Beijing Olympics games, where she grabbed the coveted Gold medal in her first 100-metre international track final. She defended that title in 2012, following up with a bronze in 2016 and a silver just last year at the Tokyo Olympics.

Nine other persons will be awarded the OJ, which is bestowed on citizens of outstanding distinction.

Among them are: Culture, Entertainment, Sports and Gender Minister, Olivia 'Babsy' Grange; late business stalwart and founder of the Jamaica Money Market Brokers Ltd (JMMB), Joan Duncan; and renowned Jamaican jazz pianist, Monty Alexander.

Completing the list of OJ recipients are: veteran Permanent Secretary Audrey Sewell; Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph; Justice (ret'd) Karl Harrison; Professor Maureen Samms-Vaughan; Rita Lewin; and Professor Alvin Wint.

Meanwhile, the island's Chief Medical Officer Dr Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie, who has been pivotal in the island's fight against COVID-19, is among the 30 Jamaicans who will receive the Order of Distinction (OD) in the Rank of Commander (CD).

Vernon Davidson, the executive editor of the Jamaica Observer, will also be bestowed with that honour. So, too, is Shericka Jackson, the second fastest 200-metres female sprinter of all time.

Other recipients of that award will include: Businessman and chief executive officer of Seprod Richard Pandohie; St Mary Central Member of Parliament (MP), Dr Morais Guy; controversial Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) MP for St Catherine South Western, Everald Warmington; and acting president of the University of Technology (UTech), Professor Colin Gyles.

Dancehall artiste Agent Sasco, whose real name is Jeffrey Campbell, will be among 35 recipients of the Order of Distinction (OD) in the Rank of Officer.

A total of nine Jamaicans will also receive badges for gallantry. That list includes seven civilians and two policemen.

Among the civilians are four who foiled attempts to abduct a schoolgirl on March 10, 2022. They are: Tanesha Brown, Junior Clark, Aselee Sutherland and Cedesiha Williams.

The awards were made under the National Honours and Awards Act, 1969. They take effect August 6, Independence Day, and will be presented to the individuals at King's House on National Heroes' Day in October.

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