McLeod, Atkinson crowned 2017's best
World Champion, Omar McLeod, and star swimmer Alia Atkinson were crowned the RJRGLEANER Sports Foundation National Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year for 2017 at last night's awards ceremony, which was held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston.
McLeod, who followed up his gold in the 110m hurdles at the Rio Olympics in 2016 with a win in the same event at the IAAF World Championships in London last August, was the winning the award for the first time in his career.
The 23-year-old McLeod, won the award ahead of global sprint legend Usain Bolt, who retired from athletics after a disappointing showing at last year's World Championships. Bolt had finished third in the final of the men's 100m sprint.
McLeod, a former Manchester High and Kingston College athlete, is also the national 110m hurdles record holder at 12.90 seconds.
He turned in a spectacular performance to win the gold medal in the event at last year's World Championships, clocking 13.04 seconds. He ended the year winning nine of his 12 races in the 110m hurdles and was unbeaten in the 60m hurdles with six wins.
McLeod has also received the RJRGLEANER Honour Awards' 2017 Special Award for Sports.
Atkinson was winning her second Sportswoman of the Year award, having first won the crown in 2014.
She won this year's award ahead of last year's World Championships 400m hurdles bronze medallist Ristananna Tracey.
Atkinson, who is the 100m breaststroke world record holder, dominated event as well as the 50m breaststroke on the FINA World Cup circuit last season. She won 11 of the 12 finals she competed in on the circuit.
Atkinson finished the season as the short-course world leader in the 50m at 28.84 seconds and the 100m at 1:02.67.
She also broke the national record in the 100m butterfly with a new mark of 59.94 seconds. Veteran sprinter Veronica Campbell-Brown won The Gleaner Iconic Award.
The 35-year-old Campbell-Brown is a former Olympic 200m champion. She recently announced that she will be competing at this year's Commonwealth Games, which will be held in Australia in April.
National senior team volleyballer Aiko Jones of the VMBS Youth Award. Jones, who attends University of Louisville in the United States, is a former student of Wolmer's Girls.
The 17-year-old multi-talented athlete won a gold medal for Jamaica in the Shot Put at the Carifta Games Championships in Grenada in 2016.