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Baptiste vies for another Sportswoman prize

Sunday, March 17 2013

THE FIRST Citizens Sports Foundation, under the Distinguished Patronage of His Excellency, President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, will host its Annual Sports Awards on March 22 at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s.

Here are a few nominees who will be vying for the titles of 2012 Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards, including 2011 Sportswoman of the Year winner Kelly Ann Baptiste -

KELLY-ANN BAPTISTE - Athletics

Another year. Another season of sprint excellence for Kelly-Ann Baptiste.

It all started on May 5, when Baptiste finished second in the women’s 100 metres at the JN Jamaica Invitational in Kingston behind the USA’s Carmelita Jeter with a time of 10.86 seconds.

At the Olympic Games in London, England, she earned sixth-place in the women’s 100m final with a time of 10.94 seconds. Baptiste also guided Trinidad and Tobago to the championship round of the women’s 4x100 metres relay competition.

The 27-year old Tobagonian’s consistency was demonstrated again at the Athletissima, the renowned IAAF Diamond League event in Lausanne, Switzerland on August 23. Baptiste managed third place in 10.93 seconds, behind Jeter and Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (both 10.86).

The best result of the season came on September 2 when she achieved victory at the ISTAF World Challenge in Berlin, Germany for the second year in a row, with a time of 11.25 seconds.

KELTON THOMAS - Bodybuilding

So, you’re envious of those gladiator-type physiques being flaunted on the Queen’s Park Savannah’s main stage during carnival time.

What’s that? You’re even vexed when you see perfectly-toned specimens strolling through the supermarket?

Well, once again, earning a muscular body involves the requisite amount of focus and dedication, as Kelton Thomas can tell you. Thomas claimed the bronze medal in the men’s bantamweight division and finished fourth in the masters category at the Central American and Caribbean Bodybuilding Championships in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

At the National Championships at the Cascadia Hotel in St Ann’s on September 8, Thomas captured the bantamweight title ahead of Sanjay Lutchman, Dennis Jagassar and Wazim Mohammed. In December, Thomas participated in the FX Reloaded competition at Gulf City Mall in Lowlands in his native Tobago and was adjudged Mr FX 2012, in addition to winning the lightweight division title and finishing as runner up in the Champ of Champs contest.

KHALEEM HYLAND - Football

Some 25 years after David Nakhid blazed a pioneering trail in Belgium, another Trinidad and Tobago player continues to hold aloft the torch for his countrymen.

Khaleem Hyland made a huge impact during his first season with Genk - following a transfer from Waregem - and he seriously burned the gas from the midfield as he helped his team to the championship play-offs and an eventual fifth-place finish. He made a total of 27 appearances including four in the UEFA Champions League and 15 from February to May 2012.

With regards to the current term, Hyland, 23, scored once during a 3-2 defeat at the hands of his former team, Waregem, and he made 22 appearances by last December 26 – including four in the UEFA Europa League; Genk won its group ahead of Swiss outfit Basle, Videoton of Hungary and Portuguese powerhouse Sporting Lisbon to advance to the Round of 32.

DARREN COWIE - Hockey

It’s an exciting new era for field hockey and Trinidad and Tobago was literally in the thick of the action

This country was privileged to host a first round tournament in the new FIH Hockey World League and - under the leadership of squad captain Darren Cowie - the national men’s team took full advantage of familiar conditions at the National Hockey Centre and made the cut for the second round of the global competition. Cowie was simply fantastic in all aspects of his game as Trinidad and Tobago hammered Venezuela 9-2, edged out Chile 2-1 and defeated Barbados 3-1 to advance to the next phase as group winner.

Cowie managed to thrive during a year of transition. He made the move from Queen’s Park CC to Notre Dame where he took on the role of player-coach and led his charges to the men’s title in the Magnolias Indoor Tournament in December, thanks to a 7-5 win over Paragon in the final.

BRIAN BOODRAMSINGH - Horse Racing

Santa Rosa Park has been the scene of many fine exploits by some of the greatest jockeys that Trinidad and Tobago has produced and 21-year old Brian Boodramsingh is more than making an outstanding effort at joining this esteemed list one day.

For the second year running the supremely disciplined Boodramsingh took home the Trinidad and Tobago Champion Jockey of the Year accolade after piloting his way to 44 victories on the year, ahead of legend Brian Harding (28), who retired at the end of the season. These wins included four triumphs on the January 28 card of races at Santa Rosa, along with three successful rides during the Labour Day program, last June 19.

As always, Boodramsingh has managed to do it all while managing that rare feat of containing his noted humility on the one hand – and single-minded focus when on the track on the other – in one unique and successful package.

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