Jamaican teenage triple jumper Jaydon Hibbert has made history as the first Jamaican to walk away with the prestigious Bowerman Award.
First awarded in 2009, the Bowerman Award recognises the most exceptional male and female athlete of the year in American collegiate track and field. Hibbert formerly represented Kingston College while in Jamaica and is now a freshman at the University of Arkansas in the United States.
Earlier this year, the 18-year-old walked away with both outdoor and indoor long jump titles, jumping to a record 17.54m indoors at the NCAA DI Championships to surpass the long-standing 1986 collegiate record. Hibbert went on to win an outdoor title with a 17.87m jump at the SEC Championships.
The Bowerman Award was presented on Thursday in Denver, Colorado, at the US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Convention. Initially nominated alongside his Jamaican teammate Ackeera Nugent, Hibbert was one of three shortlisted for the finals on Thursday.
Hibbert, only the second University of Arkansas student to win the award, described it as a dream come true in his acceptance speech and said it made up for the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary. Hibbert was a favourite to win gold at the Championships this past summer but was forced to withdraw from the triple jump final due to injury.
Hibbert is the first freshman to be honoured with the Bowerman Award.
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