Powell’s and Portia’s year

Asafa Powell is man of the year and the woman of the year must be the Most Honourable Portia Simpson.

Powell’s club, MVP, has selected Michael Frater as its athlete of the year. Their rationale was that medals count. That is strange reasoning, because if my memory serves me right, Frater won the silver medal at the World Championships in 2005.

Furthermore, Powell won the Commonwealth gold medal in early 2006. Is the point then that the Commonwealth gold medal is not as good as a silver medal at a World Championships over the same distance?

Frater should be given the most improved award and other recognition but to place his 2005 performance above Powell’s spectacular 2006 year is a great disservice.

Powell was just phenomenal in 2006. He is, I believe, the first male Jamaican athlete to be declared IAAF Athlete of the Year.

Powell was also voted by the world-recognised track and field magazine as the top athlete for 2006. Is it that MVP knows something else that the world is unaware of?

Two weeks ago, BBC World news had a brief sports review and the only track athlete that was mentioned based on legal performance was Asafa Powell.

Gatlin was mentioned for his doping and there was a clip from Sanya Richards because of what she said about doping!

Last week, Powell got the greatest recognition on ESPN, the Spanish version. My Spanish is very rusty, but my understanding of the programme was that they were listing the top 10 sports personalities for 2006.

In the top 10 were racing driver Alonzo, a footballer, also Dwayne Wade the basketballer, and someone from American football. Then, in the third spot was Tiger Woods. Then number two was our own Asafa Powell. Only the tennis maestro, Roger Federer, was placed above Asafa Powell.

For Powell’s performance to be placed above golfer Tiger Woods, who has claim already to be the best golfer of all time, with only Jack Nicklaus as a threat, is awesome.

Powell has gone where no other athlete has gone. He has run 12 sub-10 seconds 100-metre races in a season. He has equalled his own 100 metres record twice. And he has won six different golden league races in 100 metres.

Unfortunately, no Jamaican media house covered Powell’s first world record. The accolades that are due to Powell are not given and the MVP misstep will contribute to that.

Powell might not be as charismatic as Usain Bolt but he does send shivers down one’s spine with his electrifying run. Asafa also has feet of clay. He misbehaved by taking out his frustration on a flower girl. Powell has placed Jamaica on the world map and in the news very often during 2006 and he is my Man of the Year.

The Honourable Portia Simpson Miller is easily the woman of the year. She is the first female president of a major political party. She won against her party’s establishment. She has also with her election given hope to many persons who are poor and feel oppressed. She is the talk of the town in Jamaican circles overseas. She is listed in the top 100 most powerful women in the world.

Last year belonged to Powell and Portia.

From the Jamaica Gleaner