- Jamaican World champions Yohan Blake and Veronica Campbell-Brown were selected the Central American and Caribbean athletes of 2011, the region’s athletics governing body (CACAC) announced.
Blake took the 100m title and ran the third leg of the World record breaking 4x100mRelay squad at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu. Three weeks later, he ran the second fastest time ever in the 200m (19.26) at the Samsung Diamond League meeting in Brussels.
The 22-year old sprinter prevailed in a close contest over his countryman, the world’s fastest man and 2011 IAAF Athlete of the Year Usain Bolt, who picked up the 200m gold in Daegu and anchored the Jamaican squad to the 4x100m world record in 37.04, after false starting in the 100m final.
Two-time Olympic 200m winner Campbell-Brown collected her first World crown at the distance, after finishing runner-up in the 100m. The 29-year old Jamaican shows an impressive collection of 10 World Championships medals, including her 100m gold from Helsinki 2005.
Quater-milers Kirani James of Grenada and Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas, were selected the junior athletes of 2011. At 18, James became the youngest ever individual World champion when taking the 400m final in Daegu. Miller added the World Youth gold in Lille to the junior crown won in Moncton in 2010.
“On behalf of the CAC Executive Council we would like to congratulate the winners of the 2011 CAC Athlete of Year, all of them products of the rich development and school programs of the region,” said Central American and Caribbean Athletics Confederation (CACAC) chairman Victor Lopez.
Eight countries combined efforts to collect five gold, seven silver and 10 bronze medals for the Central American and Caribbean region in Daegu. They were Jamaica, Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Grenada and Colombia. The last two earned their first medals ever at the universal competition.
Four other countries also included athletes in the final: the Dominican Republic, Antigua and Barbuda, the US Virgin Island and Venezuela. The latter collected its first World Championships points in history.
Javier Clavelo Robinson for the IAAF