Bolt, ‘Shelly’ top Golden Cleats

first_imgThough they weren’t there to collect their male and female awards in person at Saturday night’s sixth annual Scotiabank/JAAA annual Golden Cleats awards ceremony inside the Chinese Benevolent Association building (CBA) on Old Hope Road, track megastars Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce gushed with pride and expressed gratitude to organisers Scotiabank and Jamaicans, following their wins. The decorated sprinters spoke via video recordings. Sprint king Usain Bolt, who last won the award in 2013, upstaged the big shot putter, O’Dayne Richards, who had won the award in 2014. Bolt won three gold medals at this year’s IAAF World Championships, including the sprint double under trying circumstances due to injuries which limited his training time. “For me it feels great and it makes me want to work even harder,” he said. “What makes this win special for me … it was a tough, trying season with lots of ups and downs. This one means a lot more because I put in a lot of hard work to get back to where I needed to be so I could win this award, so for me it’s a big one,” said Bolt. He thanked his “coach, close teammates, friends and management team … fans, the ones who stood by me through the season. I will try to do my best and try to continue conquering the world and just ‘bigging up’ Jamaica,” he added. Decorated female sprinter, Fraser-Pryce, who outclassed her 100m rivals at the Beijing World Championships’ women’s final, and who also copped the 4×100-metre gold medal, staved off stiff competition from hurdles World champion Danielle Williams and 200m silver medallist Elaine Thompson, among others. “Winning the JAAA Golden Cleats Award, it’s a wonderful feeling for me. It shows hard work and just being committed to what I set out to do in the year and being able to accomplish that and being rewarded for that accomplishment is wonderful, so I would like to say thank you to each and every one who voted for me to win this award,” Fraser-Pryce noted. “I will be representing the country to the max.” Among other awardees were veteran MVP track and field coach, Stephen Francis, who is based at the University of Technology, for Coach of the Year, while Outstanding Performance of the Year went to the women’s 4x400m gold medal winning team from the Beijing World Championships. Novlene Williams-Mills, Christine Day, Stephenie-Ann McPherson and Shericka Jackson were the members. The award was collected by Day. The prestigious Howard Aris Award went to Edwin Allen High’s Deamar Gayle, who excelled in a non-traditional event, where he dominated in the discus and shot put at the ISSA Boys and Girls’ Champs, CARIFTA and Pan Am Games. Fifteen-year-old Christopher Taylor took the Best Youth Athlete of the Year Award for his dazzling 45.27 seconds at the World Youth Championships in Cali, Colombia, the fastest time ever in his age group. Shanice Love of Excelsior High School won the Scotiabank-sponsored Howard Aris Scholarship, awarded to the Jamaican student-athlete with the top grade point average, and for being a discus bronze medallist at the Junior Pan Am Championships. The scholarship is valued at $250,000. Scotiabank’s vice-president of asset management, Lissant Mitchell, said: “Today we celebrate sport and more importantly our athletes. Let me just say what a pleasure it is to be associated with you. I am sure I speak on behalf of every Jamaican when I say you give me goosebumps every time. Each time you take the track, it is an euphoric experience that stops the entire country and leaves us all in a great frame of mind.” BEST YOUTH ATHLETElast_img read more

Read More →

Impressive Gardener thrills Contender fans

first_img Both men then tried to stamp their authority on the fight, and there was an exciting exchange over the last 20 seconds of the round, which was a signal to spectators that they were in for a fistic treat. And so it was. The excitement continued into the second round as a confident and sometimes cocky Gardener scored repeatedly with hard punches to the head and body. Lewis had his moments of ascendancy, but it was Gardener who scored consistently and methodically in the third round, which produced a lot of action and had spectators on their feet cheering wildly as the tempo of the fight increased. Things reached a crescendo in the fourth round as Gardener let loose with a barrage of punches. Lewis was not able to keep him at bay and he was hurt in this round. After a quick burst of two-fisted action from Gardener, Lewis seemed ready to fall and would have quite likely hit the canvas if he had not been caught up in the ropes. Referee Owen Nelson ruled this a knock-down, however, and gave Lewis an eight count. Gardener was all over him at the bell. When Gardener came out for the fifth and final round, he was more conservative and appeared winded. This was not surprising, however, as it was the first time that he had gone beyond three rounds. Lewis was not able to capitalise on this, however, and Gardener was able to end the fight on cruise control, and a with a victory neatly tucked away in his pocket. There was one amateur bout on the card which saw Samuel Grant of Sugar Olympic Gym scoring a points victory over Collel Hogg from Boys’ Town. Hard-hitting Michael ‘The Wasp’ Gardener moved one step closer to his goal of being the 2016 Wray and Nephew Contender champion when he scored a brilliant victory on points over his more experienced rival, Ramel ‘Sub Zero’ Lewis, at the Chinese Benevolent Association auditorium on Wednesday night. It was a unanimous decision as Judge Ransford Burton scored the fight 49-45, Laurence Neufville 49-46, and Peter Richards 50-45. This was easily the most exciting fight in the competition so far, and spectators had a lot to cheer about. Both men had signalled beforehand that they would be throwing a lot of punches, and they kept their word. The action started immediately after the signal to start was given, and it was Lewis who landed the first decisive punches. Gardener retaliated very quickly, however, and three jabs followed by a hook to the body sent the signal to Lewis that he was in for a hard night. The Gardener camp had something to think about before the round ended as he was cut over the left eye by a punch. The doctor examined it and ruled that it was nothing serious. EXCITING EXCHANGElast_img read more

Read More →