T&T’s Olympic gold medallists Keshorn Walcott and Hasely Crawford were among the list of honorees at the 30th Commonwealth Sports Awards at Hyatt Regency Hotel, Port- of-Spain on Saturday night. Walcott copped the “Outstanding Youth Achiever Award” for his performances during the period of July 2011 to June 2012. The 19-year-old who stunned the world when winning the gold medal in the javelin event at the London Olympics in August. Walcott beat out Singapore swimmer Joseph Isaac Schooling and English diver Tom Daley.
Crawford, this country’s first Olympic champion, was among four recipients of Lifetime Achievements Awards. Dr Iva Gloudon and Jamaican sprint legends Merlene Ottey and Don Quarrie, were the other awardees. Crawford’s Olympic career spanned from 1972 to 1984 and is one of four 100m sprinters to have competed in four Olympics. Gloudon was an accomplished national hockey player and represented the country for more than ten years and was the T&T Hockey Player of the Year in 1979. In 1992 she became the first and only woman to win the Trinidad and Tobago Sports Administrator of the Year Award and was a past president of the T&T Hockey Association and the Women’s Football Federation.
Quarrie struck gold in the men’s 200m finals at the 1976 Olympics and took silver behind Crawford in the 100m event. He also captured a bronze in the 200m (1980) and silver in the 4x400mr relay (1984). The diminutive Quarrie also collected six Commonwealth Games gold medals and is currently the athletic technical manager for the Jamaican Olympic team. The awards were held in T&T for the first time, as part of the country’s 50th Independence anniversary celebrations. Chairman of the celebrations committee, Minister Dr Bhoe Tewarie, paid tribute to the founder of the awards, Al Hamilton. “(Hamilton) saw the potential of Sports to bridge the divides of geography, income and culture and to lift the aspirations of our youths. Your vision has been vindicated by the achievements of our athletes.”
Other winners on the night were Grenada’s World and Olympic men’s 400m champion Kirani James, double World Champion Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya, Paralympic athletes Eleanor Simmonds of England and Jamaican Alphanso Cummingham and former Commonwealth Games Federation head Mike Fennell (Jamaica). James won Grenada’s first senior World Outdoor title in taking the one lap event at last year’s World Championships in Daegu, South Korea. He beat fellow World champions Jamaican Yohan Blake (100m), and England’s Mohammed Farah (5,000m). James was absent for the awards, as he is preparing for examinations at the Alabama University in the United States. Aaron Moses, first vice-president of the Grenada Athletic Association represented him.
Cheruiyot landed the World titles in the women’s 5000m and 10,000m gold medals in Daegu to take the Female Award ahead of Sally Pearson (100m hurdles, Australia) and Veronica Campbell-Browne (200m, Jamaica).
Cheruiyot was also absent. Dr Mombi Thairu accepted the award on her behalf. Simmons was named the Outstanding Female Athlete with a Disability, while Cunningham took the men’s equivalent. Fennell secured the Sports Administrator of the Year honour, ahead of Jon Doig of Scotland and Dominican Thomas Dorsett. Walcott said he was honoured with his award, and revealed he has began training for the 2013 season, with the World Championships in Moscow, Russia his focus. “I started training last Monday. “The season should be starting in May as I am no longer a junior.”
Outstanding Male Athlete Kirani James - Grenada
Nominees: Yohan Blake - Jamaica; Mohamed Farah - England
Outstanding Female Athlete Vivian Cheruiyot - Kenya
Nominees: Sally Pearson - Australia, Veronica Campbell-Browne -Jamaica
Outstanding Youth Achiever Keshorn Walcott -T&T
Other nominees: Joseph Isaac Schooling - Singapore, Tom Daley - England
Outstanding Female Athlete with Disability
Eleanor Simmonds - England
Outstanding Male Athlete with Disability: Alphanso Cunningham - Jamaica
Sports Administrator of the Year
Nominees: Jon Doig - Scotland, Thomas Dorsett - Dominica
Merlene Ottey - Jamaica/Slovenia
Dr Iva Gloudon - Trinidad and Tobago
Don Quarrie - Jamaica
Hasely Crawford - Trinidad and Tobago.