Sprinters Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce were on Friday night presented with the 2015 RJR Sports Foundation National Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year awards at the Jamaica Pegasus. Bolt was winning his sixth Sportsman of the Year award, after copping titles in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013, while Fraser-Pryce, who also won in 2012 and 2013, was winning her third Sportswoman of the year award. “I want to thank my fans, who supported me this season, I really needed it. I want to thank my coach, I put him through a lot of stress, he has stood by me this season … I want to thank God and I promise I will try to do my best this season,” said a grateful Bolt. Fraser-Pryce, who won gold medals in the 100m and 4x100m at last year’s World Championships in Beijing, China, as well as the Diamond League 100m title, was also presented with the Sagicor Iconic award. The sprinter has won two Olympic gold medals and seven at the World Championships level since her ‘arrival’ at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. “Everything I have done is attributed to how much God has blessed me,” said Fraser-Pryce. “I am honoured to be here collecting this award a third time. I want to thank my coach for believing in me and putting up with me; and for me putting up with him sometimes.” Bolt’s award, which now puts him second in the all – time list behind boxer Michael McCallum (7) came after another dominant season by the powerful sprinter, who won three gold medals at the World Championships (100m, 200m and 4x100m). World Championships 100m hurdles gold medal winner Danielle Williams was the runner-up to the Sportswoman of the year, with shot put bronze medal winner O’Dayne Richards took home the male equivalent. The first award of the evening went to veteran quarter-miler and cancer survivor Novlene Williams-Mills, who was presented with the Chairman’s award. The People’s Choice Award for ‘Performance of the Year’ went to Jamaica’s senior women’s 4x400m relay team, which won gold at the World Championships, while former Netball Jamaica president Marva Bernard received the Lifetime Achievement Award.
KINGSTON, Jamaica, (CMC): Only three players so far have signed contracts with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to represent the region in the T20 World Cup, just days before a Valentine’s Day deadline runs out. WICB Chief Executive Michael Muirhead made the disclosure late yesterday without revealing the names of those who have put pen to paper before Sunday’s deadline. His revelation came as a fresh contract crisis erupted this week over wages, between the WICB and players selected for the T20 World Cup starting next month in India. “Three have signed and one has indicated that he would not be able to participate because of injury so he will be replaced,” disclosed Muirhead, in an interview with Caribupdate News. “I will not name names at this point until the player is replaced and until Sunday when at that point I will then decide the appropriate time to release such”. Captain Darren Sammy and the players are contending that the remuneration on offer from the board for the T20 World Cup is unacceptable, and have called for a return to the amounts offered under the previous contract. The players concerns were contained in a letter from Sammy to Muirhead rejecting the notion that WIPA was their legitimate representative. However, Muirhead has expressed confidence that the rest of the players would also sign the contract and disclosed that he has received a second letter from Sammy with a conciliatory tone. “I am confident I think they will sign. I think just the tone of Sammy’s letter. I think he almost sound like he is speaking for himself but I assume he is speaking on behalf of most of the players if not all,” said Muirhead. “I assume that most if not all will sign not withstanding they may be some outstanding issues that he may want to take up after but certainly nothing could happen before. So I am confident that they will sign”. Muirhead has also confirmed that the Clive Lloyd led selection committee has already begun selecting a cadre of available players to represent the region in the World Cup, if they are needed. “That’s in the hands of the selectors right now. I am not sure at what stage they are but they have convened,” he said. “They were looking at the cadre of players who are out there and are available and will be putting that list together”. In his letter to the WICB Chief Executive, Sammy had pointed out that the T20 World Cup four years ago, the lowest paid player was guaranteed almost US$60 000 while the highest player stood to make almost US$138 000. He argued that with only US$27 600 on offer for the upcoming tournament, it represented between a 50 and 80 per cent pay cut for players. According to Muirhead, while Sammy’s second letter expressed his intention to represent West Indies at the World Cup he remains resolute that the WICB reconsiders the pay package. “We are not opposed to reconsidering but it would have to be done through the single and recognised representative body being WIPA,” Muirhead said.. “The book is never closed but it cannot be for a single group.”
THIS WEEK’S MATCHESSPORTSMAX 2SATURDAY7:45 a.m. WEST HAM VS SUNDERLAND12:30 p.m. WEST BROM VS CRYSTAL PALACE5 p.m. SOUTHAMPTON VS CHELSEA7 p.m. WATFORD VS BOURNEMOUTH10:45 p.m. STOKE VS ASTON VILLASUNDAYSPORTSMAX 29 a.m. MAN U VS ARSENALSPORTSMAX9 a.m. TOTTENHAM VS SWANSEA
Three-time champion jockey Dane Nelson was on Tuesday cleared by the stewards of the Jamaica Racing Commission for his riding of highly-fancied COMMANDING CHIEF in the seventh race for overnight allowance horses at Caymanas Park on Saturday, March 19. Nelson rode the veteran campaigner to finish fifth to HOVER CRAFT over 1500 metres, but the stewards were not satisfied with his riding and summoned him to an inquiry. After hearing submissions from Nelson as well as his representative Ed Barnes, the stewards accepted the jockey’s submission that he had suffered an injury on the track on Friday, March 18 and had received medication from the doctor. They also accepted the argument that COMMANDING CHIEF displayed symptoms of breathing problems during the race, which affected his performance. Additionally, Nelson apologised to the stewards for his disrespectful behaviour in the scales area and in the vicinity of the Stewards’ Room. He was also cautioned regarding his conduct and what is expected of him as a professional jockey. Nelson, the leading rider with 22 wins so far this season, was second time lucky yesterday, when he successfully appealed the decision by the stewards to disqualify his mount, PAPER N LACE after winning division one of the McKay Security Trophy over 1820m on New Year’s Day. The horse was disqualified for causing interference to OH MY GRANDPA in the early stages of the event and the race was awarded to GRAN CORAZON. PAPER N LACE was reinstated to first by the full Commission.