Tough fight for RJRGLEANER top awards
The nominees for the RJRGLEANER Sportsman of the Year are not plenty but it will either continue the athletics trend of winners or it could see a non-track and field athlete claim the prize for the first time since 2014.
The RJRGLEANER Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year will be named tonight with the awards ceremony starting at 8:30 p.m. at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel, the first time in two years that the awards show will be face-to-face, following last year's virtual ceremony and 2020 cancellation both because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Only three men are vying for the crown this year with Commonwealth Games 110 metres hurdles champion Rasheed Broadbell and Commonwealth Games 400 metres hurdles silver medallist Jaheel Hyde representing track and field and middle-order batsman Rovman Powell flying the flag for cricket.
Powell could become the first cricketer to claim the prestigious award since 2010 when Chris Gayle won the prize and also the first non-track and field athlete in eight years to win.
Powell is coming off of a year where he helped to guide Jamaica Tallwahs to their first Caribbean Premier League T20 title in six years, finishing sixth for the most runs scored in the tournament as well as marshalling the Jamaica Scorpions to their first Caribbean Super50 Cup since 2011, scoring 346 runs, the most in that tournament.
Broadbell has a strong case for the award after a solid second half last season, winning the Commonwealth Games title in a new record of 13.08 seconds and setting a new personal best of 12.99 in the Diamond League while beating World Championships winner Grant Holloway twice during the season.
Hyde took a step forward last season qualifying for his first World Championship final in July clocking a personal best time of 48.03 seconds while finishing sixth and adding Commonwealth Games silver in August. Olympic 110 metres hurdles champion Hansle Parchment was last year's winner of the award.
Sportswoman of the Year could be a tough one to decide with five-time World Championships 100 metres winner Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and World Championships 200 metres winner Shericka Jackson the strongest contenders among the eight finalists.
Fraser-Pryce retained her 100 metres crown at the World Athletics Championships last July, in a championship record performance of 10.67 seconds as well as clocking seven sub 10.70 times last year. A win would be the fifth of her career.
Jackson is coming off a season where she won her maiden World Championships individual title, winning the 200 metres in a championship record of 21.45 seconds, the second fastest time in history in the half-lap event. She added a World Championship 100 metres silver medal, a 4x100 metres relay, and her first Diamond League title in the 200 metres.
Both were nominated for World Athletics Women Athlete of the Year with Fraser-Pryce being named among the finalists.