Long jumpers Smith and King are top athletes

HAMILTON, Bermuda,  CMC – Long jumpers Tyrone Smith and Arantxa King have been named Bermuda’s men’s and women’s Athletes-of-the-Year after “exceptional” performances.

The awards were presented at the Bermuda Track & Field Association banquet over the weekend at which both were guest speakers.

King, the former World Youth champion, won a silver medal at this summer’s Central American & Caribbean Senior Championships in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, in only her second competitive meet of the season.

She posted a personal best leap of 6.47 metres, while her teammate Smith grabbed the gold in the men’s long jump with a leap of 8.06 metres.

Smith, aged 27, won a gold at last year’s CAC Games, also in Puerto Rico, with a personal best jump of 8.22 metres.

King’s 59-year-old, Vincentian father Adrian is a former fast bowler, who played two first-class cricket matches for Windward Islands before moving to Bermuda in the late 1970s. Her mother Branwen was formerly a leading national athlete.

BTFA President Donna Watson said she was pleased to hand this year’s awards to Smith and King.

“Both are looking towards London 2012 (Summer Olympics) with Tyrone already qualified and Arantxa hoping to reach the standards,” said Watson.

“Tyrone and Arantxa gave great speeches which were directed towards our up-and-coming athletes about how much hard work has paid off to get them where they are today, especially with Arantxa fighting injuries throughout her track career. They were both exceptional this year.”

Ashley Berry was named Under-20 Female Athlete-of-the-Year with Shaquille Dill taking the Under-20 Male title.

In the Under-17 category, Bruce Degrilla was voted Male Athlete-of-the-Year and Kyrah Scraders Female Athlete-of-the-Year.

On the road running circuit, Jennifer Alen and Chris Estwanik won the Open Female and Male 2011 championship titles, while Jamaica-born Deon Breary and Gary Raynor were named respective Masters champions.

Bermuda is set to host the 2012 CARIFTA Games, the region’s annual junior athletics showpiece, after previously holding the Games here in 1975, 1980 and 2004.

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