Jamaica’s track and field icon Merlene Ottey was among six sports personalities honoured for their contribution to sports at today’s Ceremony of Investiture and Presentation of National Honours and Awards that were held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Along with Ottey, Olympian Deon Hemmings-McCatty, legendary jockey Emilio Rodriquez, as well as footballers Howard Bell and Khadijah Shaw were also awarded. Cedella Marley, daughter of global reggae icon Cedella Marley was also honoured for her work in providing critical support for the national women’s football programme.

Ottey, who turned 60 in May, previously held the Order of Distinction, for her sterling representation of Jamaica at the international level for more than two decades winning nine Olympic medals and 14 World Championship medals including gold medals in 1991, 1993 and 1995.

She was conferred with the Order of Jamaica.

The 52-year-old Hemmings-McCatty was also upgraded from the Order of Distinction, Officer Class to Order of Distinction Commander Class, in recognition for her contribution to Jamaica’s track and field legacy.

In 1996, Hemmings became the first woman from the English-speaking Caribbean to win an Olympic gold medal when she won the 400m hurdles at the Atlanta Olympic Games in an Olympic record 52.82s.

Khadija Shaw, Jamaica’s leading goalscorer across genders, led Jamaica to its first ever qualification to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the first Caribbean nation to do so. She was awarded the Order of Jamaica, Officer Class.

Jamaica’s Women’s team might not have qualified for the World Cup had it not been for Cedella Marley, who, through several fundraising efforts and other forms of support. She was also awarded the Order of Distinction, Officer Class for her yeoman work.

Howard ‘Juicy’ Bell has dedicated three decades of his life serving Jamaica as a member and captain of Jamaica’s national senior football team. He has also served as a manager for the national team and is currently an administrator employed by the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF).

He also received the rank of Order of Distinction, Officer Class.

Also receiving the Order of Distinction, Officer Class was the legendary jockey, four-time national champion Emilio ‘Bimbo’ Rodriquez, who won more than a dozen classic races during his riding career that spanned decades.

 

 

 

 

Jamaica’s track and field icons Merlene Ottey and Deon Hemmings McCatty, as well as female football star Khadija Shaw and legendary jockey Emilio Rodriquez, are among several sporting personalities, who are to receive national honours in October.

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