Choice of best athlete defies logic

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first_imgMike Fennell never stops springing surprises. On Thursday night at the closing ceremony, the Commonwealth Games Federation boss read out the name of Jamaican Trecia Smith as the winner of the David Dixon award for the best athlete.Not only was this a surprise to the people present at the stadium, it looked as though Trecia herself was surprised at having been chosen despite winning a solitary gold medal at the Games – that too with a performance she herself had said was poor.”I am very happy to win the gold but it was still a very terrible jump,” Trecia had said after winning in the triple jump event. As one who jumped only 14.19 metres in New Delhi with just one legitimate attempt, the decision has left sports lovers scratching their heads.Trecia is a former world champion and her personal best is 15.16 metres. As Fennell read out the name, which he said was handed to him in a sealed envelope, there was a sense of disbelief.Fennell said representatives from the six zones of the Commonwealth had met and decided on Trecia’s name. One factor that could have influenced the decision is that the 35-year-old may not compete in the CWG again, after having won bronze in Manchester 2002 and gold in Melbourne 2006.A top official from the Organising Committee shook his head in disbelief at the decision.”The entire Indian contingent is flabbergasted with this decision. One has to raise the question that has this athlete got the award only because she happens to be from the country that the CGF president belongs to,” he wondered.advertisementIn the last edition in Melbourne, Samaresh Jung had got the David Dixon award for his fivegold effort. There had been an air of expectancy that this award would most probably go to the athlete who had won the maximum number of medals.By that count, it should have been Alicia Coutts from Australia who won five gold medals in the swimming pool. From India’s point of view, one thought Gagan Narang was in with a chance as he had won four gold to his credit besides notching up an unofficial world record with a score of 703.6.If there was an athlete who perhaps deserved the award on the basis of a single gold medal, it had be discus gold medallist Krishna Poonia. She not only lived up to the expectations of a 50,000-strong crowd, but also helped India clinch its first track-and-field gold since 1958.There are a lot of things that Fennell has said in the run-up to the Games and during them as well. But what he did on Thursday defies logic. Before he goes, the Jamaican needs to explain this seemingly biased choice.last_img

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