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Baptiste, Daniel top Sports Desk awards
Shooter Roger Daniel and sprinter Kelly Ann Baptiste walked away with the Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year awards during the Guardian Sports Desk’s Annual Awards Ceremony at the home of Brian Lara, Lady Chancellor Hill, last night. Other accolades went to 22-year-old West Indies batsman Darren Bravo (Emerging Sportsman of the Year) and veteran administrator John Antoine, who was recognised for his contributions to local basketball and tennis over the years. Daniel, 41, was also honoured by the Sports Desk in 2010 along with the T&T Olympic Committee and First Citizens Sports Foundation. In January, he won gold medals in the 10m Pistol and Championship events at the Hell Open Air Championships in Trondheim, Norway, becoming the first shooter from outside Europe or Asia to win the overall title at the meet.
Later that month, he shot his way to two more gold medals and the top shooter prize at the Canadian Airgun Grand Prix in Toronto, Canada. His haul included the Men’s Open Air Pistol and Masters 60-Shot Air Pistol, a feat he had also achieved in 2005. His defining moment came at the Pan Am Games in Jalisco, Mexico, in October when he won a silver medal in the Men’s 10m Air Pistol. He was one of four medallists at the Games for T&T, joining shot putter Cleopatra Borel Browne, sprinter Emmanuel Callender and cyclist Njisane Phillip. He also placed 11th in the Men’s 50m Air Pistol. Baptiste had another stellar year in 2011, having become T&T’s first female sprinter to win a global title (100m) during the IAAF Continental Cup in September, 2010. In May, 2011, she won silver in the Women’s 100m at the Jamaican International Invitational in Kingston in 10.94 seconds, trailing the USA’s Carmelita Jeter (10.86). At the Samsung Diamond League’s Paris Leg in July, she upset three time Olympic Gold medallist Veronika Campbell-Brown of Jamaica and her comrade Kerron Stewart to win the 100m in 10.91. She followed that in August with a silver medal finish (10.97) in the same event when the Diamond League stopped in London.
On August 29 in Daegu, South Korea, Baptiste won T&T’s only medal of the 13th IAAF World Championships when she placed third (10.98) in the Women’s 100m, finishing behind Jeter (10.90) and Campbell-Brown (10.97).
A week later, she joined Semoy Hackett, Michelle Lee Ahye and Kai Selvon to set a new national record (42.50) during the Women’s 4x100m heats. The quartet later went on to place fourth in the final in 43.25. Baptiste continued her good form in September, winning the 100m at the ISTAF Athletics Meet in Berlin in 11.15. A few days later, she sped to a season best time of 10.90 at the Belacom Memorial Van Damme meet in Bruxelles, Belgium, placing third . She was edged again by Jeter (10.78) and Campbell-Browne (10.85). Bravo established himself as one of international cricket’s top young batsmen in 2011, managing 949 runs in 10 Tests at an average of 49.94. He scored three hundreds in his last four Tests including his maiden century against Bangladesh (195) in Dhaka and 136 and 166 against India in Kolkatta and Mumbai respectively. He is currently ranked 20th among Test batsmen in the ICC Rankings and is the youngest player in the top 25. Also earning recognition during the evening’s function were reporters Rachael King and Nigel Simon. King was named the Sports Desk “Employee of the Year,” while Simon walked away with the “Sportswriter of The Year.” The Sports Desk also honoured librarian Wayne Headley for his 45 years of service to the company.
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