BIRMINGHAM, England (CMC) — Jamaican sprint marvel Usain Bolt has captured one of the top honours at the 29th annual Commonwealth Sports Awards, despite not participating at the Games last month in Delhi.
The 24-year-old, the reigning Olympic and World champion, walked away with the Outstanding Male Athlete accolade at the Awards ceremony at the International Convention Centre here Saturday night.
British heptathlete Jessica Ennis, the current World and European champion, won the Outstanding Female Athlete award.
Bolt and Ennis were among several elite athletes who opted out of the Commonwealth Games. Neither athlete was present at the ceremony.
Mike Fennell, the Commonwealth Games Federation chief, said it was crucial the organisation continued to recognise the accomplishments of competitors.
“I am delighted to participate in this special awards dinner at the Commonwealth Games Sports Awards for 2010,” Fennell said.
“Congratulations to all the awardees for this year. It is so important that we recognise the achievements of our Commonwealth athletes and there is so much to be proud of.”
He added: “In October this year we witnessed the very successful staging of the 19th Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India and once again the world saw athletes in 17 sports from 71 countries and territories including Para athletes.
“We now eagerly anticipate the 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.”
Veteran Jamaican sports journalist, Tony Becca, of the Jamaican Gleaner won the newly conceptualised Outstanding Sports Writer prize, sharing the award with the Sunday Times’ Nick Pitt.
There was no such luck for long-standing Jamaican netball administrator Molly Rhone, who lost out to New Zealand squash icon Susie Simcock for the prestigious Lifetime Achievement award.
Meanwhile, Australia’s Delhi gold-winning men’s hockey team walked away with the Most Outstanding Team prize, while New Zealand’s cyclist Sam Webster captured the Outstanding Young Achiever award.