Dacres favoured for Jamaica's Athlete of the Year, close race among the women

By November 28, 2018

2018 NACAC Senior Male Athlete of the Year Fedrick Dacres leads the list of nominees for the RJR Sports Foundation Male Athlete of the Year.

Dacres is being considered the favourite among the four male athletes nominated for the title.

The other male nominees include Chris Binnie, who won his eighth All-Jamaica squash title last weekend, Ronald Levy, the Commonwealth 110m hurdles champion, and O’Dayne Richards who won the CAC shot put title in Barranquilla, Colombia, earlier this year.

The 24-year-old Dacres is a strong favourite to win his national Male Athlete of the Year Award after standout performances during 2018 when he won the Commonwealth Games title in a new meet record of 68.20, the Continental Cup title, the Diamond League title and the NACAC Senior Championships.

But while the men's title seems almost a foregone conclusion, the battle among the women promises to be significantly more competitive in a year when several performed consistently well in a variety of sports.

Chief among the candidates is  2017 winner Alia Atkinson, who won another eight gold medals on the recently concluded FINA World Cup tour.

The 29-year-old swimming star dominated the 50m and 100m breaststroke events on the World Tour establishing world-leading times in both events. She also won three CAC gold medals earlier in the year.

Aisha Praught Leer surprised the world at the Commonwealth Games in Australia in April when she won the 3000m steeplechase, a first for a Jamaican woman.

Also nominated was triple jumper Shanieka Ricketts, who won gold at the NACAC Senior Championships and silver at the Commonwealth Games in April.

Her compatriot Kimberly Williams is also among the nominees having won the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games and silver at the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham, England.

Another Commonwealth Games champion, Janieve Russell, was also nominated for the Female AOY honours. Russell was Jamaica’s best one-lap hurdler during the season.

Jamaica’s national champion won two gold medals at the Commonwealth Games (400m hurdles and 4x400m relay). She also won gold at the Continental Cup and a silver medal at the NACAC championships.

Danniel Thomas-Dodd is certain to give the judges headaches as she also had a strong year that was truncated because of injury. She won the Commonwealth title in what was a new national record 19.36m, which followed up on the silver medal she won at the World Indoors in a national indoor record for Jamaica (19.22m).

Khadija Shaw is a first-time nominee and makes a strong case for herself to win a first AOY title. Shaw, who attends the University of Tennessee, scored 19 goals as she led Jamaica to it’s historic World Cup qualification in 2018.

Stafanie Taylor, the captain of the Windies Women led the team to the semi-final of the ICC Women’s World Cup and climbed to the top of the world rankings as a batter. She is currently ranked the number-one all-rounder in the world.

The awards ceremony will be held at the Jamaica Pegasus in Kingston on January 28, 2019.



Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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