Paralympian Akeem Stewart will be awarded the Hummingbird Gold medal tomorrow, Republic Day, at the National Awards ceremony at the National Academy for Performing Arts, Port of Spain.
Stewart, confirming that he was receiving the award, said: “I will be receiving the Humming Bird Gold medal in Trinidad…I’m very happy because I did not expect that at all.”
Stewart, 25, claimed two gold medals at World Para Athletics Championships in London in July, taking the javelin F44 title and then delivering a record-breaking throw in the men’s shot put F44 category.
In September 2016, Stewart broke the javelin world record twice in one night at the Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His first throw of 57.23 metres broke the world record set in 2015 of 54.77 metres, and the burly Tobagonian improved on his record-breaking effort with his final throw reaching 57.32 metres to win gold for Trinidad and Tobago.
“This will be my tenth year as a track and field athlete. The journey was very rough and it is still rough but over the years of experience I’ve gained, I learnt to keep pressing forward and try to excel in field events,” he told Newsday in a telephone interview on Wednesday.
Stewart is also slated to receive the “Father of the Nation” Medal of Honour, Gold, alongside fellow Tobagonian Lalonde Gordon, a double Olympic medallist and World champion. The award is being bestowed by the Dr Eric Williams Memorial Committee on Sunday too. Chairman Reginald Vidale said Stewart and Gordon were being honoured for their stellar performances in sport. This award ceremony is expected to take place during a church service, starting at 10 am at the Deliverance Tabernacle - New Testament Church of God in Plymouth. Stewart said his sister, Wasame Stewart, will be collect this medal on his behalf, since he will be in Trinidad.
Relatives of Gordon are expected to receive his award since he is out of the country. Gordon ran a stunning anchor leg in the Men’s 4x400 metres relay final at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in England in August, helping the TT team win this country’s first ever relay gold medal at a major international meet.