South Florida’s own swimming superstar Alia Atkinson has again been nominated for the RJR 2015 National Sportswoman-of-the-Year.
Atkinson, who won the same title last year, became the first swimmer since 1974 to win the award and broke the 39-year dominance of winners in athletics. As the first ever black woman to hold a swimming world record, Atkinson is again up for the awards following arguably one of her best performance years yet. This year, she became the first Jamaican swimmer to win a medal at a long course world championship games, when she won silver in the 50m breaststroke and bronze in the 100m breaststroke at the FINA World Championships in Russia. She also broke Jamaica’s long course record in the 100m breaststroke and won gold in the 100m breaststroke at the Swimming World Cup in Dubai.
Atkinson’s main competitor will be two-time RJR Sportswoman of the year, sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. The other nominees include a tough list of competitors, such as boxer Alicia Ashley and (continuing the awards’ athletics domination) fellow track stars Veronica Campbell-Brown, Shericka Jackson, Sherone Simpson, Danielle Williams, and Elaine Thompson.
For Sportsmen of the Year, reigning fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt, leads the pack in nominations, though he faces some stellar performances from shot-putter Odayne Richards, discus thrower Fedrick Dacres; sprint hurdler Hansle Parchment, and sprinter Rasheed Dwyer.
The awards will be announced and presented at a special ceremony in Jamaica on January 15, 2016.