Who will win at the AAG awards?
By Treiston Joseph
With the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) set to host its annual awards ceremony on Saturday at the Umana Yana, Georgetown, there is always speculation of the possible award winners. News Room Sport will look at the possible winners based on the performances of athletes in 2017.
The Senior Male Athlete-of-the-Year award should be a two-man race between USA-based jumper Troy Doris and 400m specialist Winston George. The only other person who deserves to be in the conversation is Javelin record holder, Leslain Baird.
However, because of international exposure, breaking his own 400m record on home soil and the fact that he gained the only international senior medal with a gold at the South American Senior Championships, George should cop the top honour.
The Senior Female Athlete-of-the-Year is a tougher category to predict; however, it will possibly come down to three athletes: Alita Moore, Natreena Hooper and Brenessa Thompson.
Thompson was running fast early in 2017, but unfortunately was unable to maintain her form in an effort to make the World Championships. Moore, on the other, was in decent form in the 400m and made an appearance at the Islamic Games in Azerbaijan where she clocked decent times.
Nevertheless, Thompson’s early form might be enough to edge Moore and Hooper, who is currently in Jamaica, for the award, but at this point the Senior Female category is wide open. However, Hooper did get bronze in the High Jump at the Islamic Solidarity Games and that might be the deciding factor for the jumper.
Meanwhile, the Junior Male Athlete will be easy for the AAG with that award firmly in the hands of Compton Caesar, who won gold at Carifta and the South American junior championships, while creating history by becoming the first Guyanese to win a 100m gold at the Carifta games.
The females in the junior category again might be a tough one and might end up being a four-woman race involving Natricia Hooper, Joanna Archer, Cassie Small and Kezra Murray.
However, while Hooper has been injured for the majority of the season her Carifta gold medal might be enough to outshine her three compatriots for the award.
Looking to the youth side of the awards again the male category will be easy with Daniel Williams walking away with this one due because of his dominance throughout the year.
The females again pose a problem as this group has a boat load of talent with Chantoba Bright, Deshanna Skeete and Kenisha Phillips all in the running for this award.
Nevertheless, Bright’s consistency throughout the year along with her Carifta gold and performances at the South American junior, as well as her fifth place finish at the World Under-18 championships should earn her the top honour.
Coach-of-the-Year could go to either Johnny Greavande or Moses Pantlitz. Johnny coaches the duo of Williams and Bright, while Pantlitz coaches Caesar and Skeete.
All in all it has been a great 2017 for athletics and regardless of which of these athletes finish as winners and runners-up, all are winners and accomplished breathtaking feats during the past year.