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Bolt and Thompson named NACAC athletes of 2016

Athletes from Jamaica and the USA dominated the 2016 NACAC Athletes of the Year.

Olympic triple gold medallist Usain Bolt and compatriot Elaine Thompson, who secured two gold medals and one silver at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, were chosen as the male and female athletes of the year.

USA’s Noah Lyles and Sydney McLaughlin clinched the junior athletes of the year. Lyles won gold medals in the 100m and 4x100m at the IAAF World U20 Championships Bydgoszcz 2016, while McLaughlin set a world U20 record of 54.15 in the 400m hurdles at the US Olympic Trials and went on to reach the semi-finals in that event at the Olympic Games.

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 US decathlete Ashton Eaton and Jamaican sprint hurdler Omar McLeod in the senior men’s category and US sprint hurdler Kendra Harrison and Bahamian 400m runner Shaunae Miller in the senior women’s.

Jamaica’s Jaheel Hyde, Cuba’s Lazaro Martinez and USA’s Michael Norman joined Lyles among nominees in the junior men’s category and Guadeloupe’s Yanis David, USA’s Candace Hill and Jamaica’s Tiffany James challenged McLaughlin for the junior women’s award.

“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 NACAC President Victor Lopez. “We look forward to another exciting year with our athletes and fans.”

The nomination and selection panels included journalists, former athletes and a statistician. It was coordinated by the Media Commission of NACAC.

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