SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, November 18, 2016 – Athletes from Jamaica and the United States have dominated the 2016 North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC) Athletes of the Year Awards.
Olympic triple gold medallist Usain Bolt and compatriot Elaine Thompson, who secured two gold medals and a silver at the Rio Games, were chosen as the Male and Female Athletes of the Year, according to NACAC.
Americans Noah Lyles and Sydney McLaughlin clinched the Junior Athletes of the Year.
Lyles won gold medals in the 100 metres and 4x100m at the IAAF World Under-20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland while McLaughlin, set a new world youth best and world junior record of 54.15, in finishing third at the U.S Olympic Trials and qualifying for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro this summer.
The finalists were chosen from a shortlist of nominees submitted by sports journalists spanning English and Spanish-speaking Caribbean during the month of October.
The other nominees included Ashton Eaton (USA) and Omar McLeod (JAM) in the senior men’s category; and Kendra Harrison (USA) and Shaunae Miller in the senior women’s.
Jaheel Hyde (JAM), Lazaro Martinez (CUB) and Michael Norman (USA) joined Lyles among nominees in the Junior men’s category and Yanis David (GLP), Candace Hill (USA) and Tiffany James (JAM) challenged McLaughlin for the Junior women’s award.
David represented Guadeloupe, an associate member of NACAC where their athletes compete in NACAC Championships including the CARIFTA Games in St. George’s, Grenada.
“It has been a very good year for the sport in the area and on behalf of the NACAC Council I congratulate the winners of the categories,” said Victor Lopez, NACAC President.
“We look forward to another exciting year with our athletes and fans.”
The nomination and selection panels included journalists, former athletes and a statistician. The winners were chosen by a three-man panel which included Ato Boldon, Javier Clavelo and veteran statistician Rey O’Neal.
The process was coordinated by NACAC Media Commission.
2016 NACAC Athletes of the Year
Usain Bolt (JAM)
Elaine Thompson (JAM)
Junior Male Athlete:
Noah Lyles (USA)
Junior Female Athlete:
Sydney McLaughlin (USA)