KINGSTON, Jamaica, November 16, 2014 - Kirani James of Grenada and Kaliese Spencer of Jamaica have been voted the top sportsman and sportswoman in the Caribbean across sporting disciplines by the Caribbean Sports Journalists’ Association (CASJA).
James, who won the Commonwealth Games 400 metres gold in Glasgow, Scotland this summer received three of six final votes from the six- member selection panel consisting of Olympians Tonique Williams (BAH) and Ato Boldon (TTO), Former World Cup footballer Shaka Hislop (TTO) and Journalists Terry Finisterre (SLU), Vernon Springer (SKN) and Kayon Raynor (JAM).
The man, who ended the year with the fastest time of 43.74 seconds edged out Jamaican World Boxing Association (WBA) Super World featherweight boxer champion Nicholas “the Axeman” Walters (2 votes) and six time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt of Jamaica for the top award.
The winners were selected from a shortlist of nominees submitted via responses from members of CASJA.
Spencer, who captured gold in the 400m hurdles at the Commonwealth Games, in addition to winning a fifth IAAF 400m Hurdles Diamond League Trophy polled five of the six votes by the panel. Yarisley Silva of Cuba, the Pole Vault gold medallist from the World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland ended second in the female vote (1). Sprint hurdler Wilhem Belocian of Guadeloupe and Barbadian Akela Jones were named the two Rising Stars.
Belocian, who captured the 2014 World Junior Championships gold in a world junior record of 12.99 seconds, beat Jamaica’s Jaheel Hyde to the accolade. Hyde had won the world junior 400m hurdle gold and the Youth Olympic Games 110m title.
Jones, who secured gold in the Long Jump at the World Junior champions in addition to receiving the Austin Sealy Award after copping three individual gold medals at the CARIFTA Championships, beat Jamaican Commonwealth Games 400m champion Stephenie-Ann McPherson to the female Rising Star award.
Jamaica’s team of Nickel Ashmeade, Warren Weir, Jermaine Brown, Yohan Blake, which set a new world record of 1 minute 18.63 seconds in the 4x200m relay in Nassau, Bahamas was voted the top male Team of the Year. Trinidad and Tobago’s Soca Princesses, who are one win away from qualifying for next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada was named the female Team of the Year. The Soca Princesses will meet Ecuador in the return leg of their playoff on December 2 in Port of Spain, Trinidad.
WINNERS CASJA AWARDS:
SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR
3 of 6 winning votes: Kirani James, Grenada – Athletics. 2 of 6 winning votes: Nicholas Walters, Jamaica - Boxing 1 of 6 winning votes: Usain Bolt, Jamaica - Athletics
SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR
5 of 6 Winning votes: Kaliese Spencer, Jamaica - Athletics 1 of 6 Winning vote: Yarisley Silva, Cuba - Athletics
RISING STAR MALE
3 of 6 Winning votes: Wilhem Belocian, Guadeloupe - Athletics 2 of 6 Winning votes: Jaheel Hyde, Jamaica - Athletics
1 of 6 Winning vote: Deon Lendore, Trinidad & Tobago - Athletics
RISING STAR FEMALE
3 of 6 winning votes: Akela Jones, Barbados – Athletics
2 of 6 winning votes: Stephanie McPherson, Jamaica – Athletics
1 of 6 winning votes: Michelle Lee Ahye, Trinida & Tobago - Athletics
TEAM OF THE YEAR MALE
5 Winning votes: Jamaica 4x200m Relay WR Team
1 Winning vote: Jamaica 4x100m Relay Team
TEAM OF THE YEAR FEMALE
2 Winning votes: Trinidad & Tobago Football Team
1 Winning vote each: Jamaica Netball Team
1 Winning vote: Jamaica 4x400 Relay Team
1 Winning vote: West Indies Women Team
1 Winning vote: Jamaica 4x100m Relay Team
The nominees were tabulated based on responses received from members of CASJA.
The six member panel of judges which consisted of Olympians Tonique Williams (BAH) & Ato Boldon (TTO), Former World Cup/English Premier League footballer Shaka Hislop (TTO) and Journalists Terry Finisterre (SLU), Vernon Springer (SKN) and Kayon Raynor (JAM) then deliberated on the winners.
With the absence of the Olympic Games in 2014, the judges focused on distinguished achievement, honour or world record achieved at the World Championships, Commonwealth Games or similar high level of competition in their respective sport to arrive at the winners.
Sportsman of the Year Nominees:
Kirani James, GRN – Athletics
Jaheel Hyde, JAM – Athletics
Shivnarine Chanderpaul, GUY – Cricket
Nicholas Walters, JAM – Boxing
Keshorn Walcott, TTO – Athletics
Sunil Narine, TTO – Cricket
Denesh Ramdin, TTO – Cricket
Usain Bolt, JAM – Athletics
Sportswoman of the Year Nominees:
Kaliese Spencer, JAM – Athletics
Romelda Aiken, JAM – Netball
Sahily Diago, CUB – Athletics
Stafanie Taylor, JAM – Cricket
Yarisley Silva, CUB – Athletics
Alia Atkinson, JAM – Swimming
Stephenie-Ann McPherson, JAM – Athletics
Deandra Dottin, BAR – Cricket
Karen Meakins, BAR – Squash
Team of the Year Male Nominees:
Jamaica 4x200m Relay Team – Athletics Antigua & Barbuda Senior – Football Puerto Rico Senior – Basketball Barbados Tridents – Cricket
Jamaica 4x100m Relay Team – Athletics Trinidad W Connection FC – Football Barbados Davis Cup Team – Tennis Barbados Team – Bodybuilding
Trinidad & Tobago 4x100m Relay Team – Athletics
Team of the Year Female Nominees:
Trinidad & Tobago Senior – Football Jamaica National Team – Netball West Indies Team – Cricket
Jamaica 4x400m Relay Team – Athletics Barbados Team - Body Fitness
Jamaica 4x100m Relay Team – Athletics
Rising Star of the Year Male Nominees:
O’Dayne Richards, JAM – Athletics Deon Lendore, TTO – Athletics Kraigg Brathwaite, BAR – Cricket Lazaro Martinez, CUB – Athletics
Wilhem Belocian, GLP/FRA – Athletics Jaheel Hyde, JAM – Athletics
Cavahn McKenzie, JAM – Athletics
Rising Star of the Year Female Nominees:
Michelle-Lee Ahye, TTO – Athletics Akela Jones, BAR – Athletics Shanel Daley, JAM – Cricket Natalya White, JAM – Athletics Yorgelis Rodriguez, CUB – Athletics Janeive Russell, JAM – Athletics Chelsea Tuach, BAR – Surfing
Stephenie-Ann McPherson, JAM – Athletics Sahily Diago, CUB – Athletics