Shelly or Shericka?
RJRGLEANER Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year will be crowned tonight
The top sportswoman of 2022 could likely be a five-time winner or a first-time honouree, both with résumés that could make the decision a dead heat. The best of the 2022 sporting year will be honoured at the RJRGLEANER National Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards tonight, starting at 8:30 p.m. at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel. It will be the first time in two years that the event will return to its traditional face-to-face format after last year’s event was held virtually and there was no show in 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eight women and three men have been nominated for local sports’ highest individual honour. The female nominees are headlined by five-time World 100 metres champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and World 200m champion Shericka Jackson.
Fraser-Pryce is coming off a season where she continues to maintain a high standard of excellence at the age of 36. She retained her 100m crown at the World Athletics Championships last July, in a championship record performance of 10.67 seconds, one of the seven sub-10.70 performances that she would have for the year. In addition to World Championships silver in the 200m and the 4x100m relay, she won her fifth Diamond League 100m title and was a finalist for the World Athletics female Athlete of the Year. Fraser-Pryce has already won four Sportswoman of the Year awards, the last being in 2019.
Jackson is coming off a season where she won her maiden World individual title, winning the 200m in a championship record run of 21.45 seconds, the second fastest time in history in the half-lap event. She added a World Championships 100m silver as well as one in the 4x100m relay and her first Diamond League title in the 200m.
Double Olympic sprint champion and last year’s Commonwealth Games 100 and 200m gold medallist Elaine Thompson Herah, who is among the nominees, was last year’s winner after a stellar season. Commonwealth Games high jump champion Lamara Distin, World Championships 100m hurdles silver medallist Britany Anderson, Commonwealth Games 400m hurdles champion Janieve Russell, national women’s netball captain Jhaniele Fowler, and World Championships triple jump silver medallist Shanieka Ricketts are other nominees
Meanwhile, middle-order batsman Rovman Powell could be the first cricketer in 12 years to win Sportsman of the Year. He is facing Commonwealth Games 110m hurdles champion Rasheed Broadbell and 2022 Commonwealth Games 400m hurdles silver medallist Jaheel Hyde. Powell helped to guide the Jamaica Tallawahs to their first Caribbean Premier League T20 title in six years finishing sixth for the most runs scored in the tournament as well as helping the Jamaica Scorpions to their first Caribbean Super 50 Cup since 2011, scoring the most runs in that tournament.
He will have a tough task to win given the performance of Broadbell, who won his first major title at the Commonwealth Games, equalled the 110m hurdles Games record of 13.08, and became the third Jamaican to go under 13 seconds, clocking a personal best of 12.99 last season.
Hyde set a personal best time of 48.03 seconds in his first World Championships final and won silver at the Commonwealth Games. A non-track and field athlete last won the Sportsman of the Year in 2014 when Nicholas “Axe Man” Walters took the prize. Olympic 110m champion Hansle Parchment won the award last year.