Akela Jones (left) and Michael Maskell (right) received awards on the night ©BOA

Michael Maskell and Akela Jones were presented with the Barbados Olympic Association’s (BOA) male and female Athlete of the Year honours for 2016 at their annual awards ceremony.

The event took place at the Hilton Barbados Resort, with the proceedings aimed at honouring the achievements of Barbadian sport and sportspeople.

Jones competed in both the women’s heptathlon and high jump events at last year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, where finished  20th and 31st in the respective competitions.

The Toronto 2015 Pan American Games high jump bronze medallist was chosen as the country’s flagbearer at the Closing Ceremony.

Maskell competed as the Olympics for the fifth time in his career, the skeet shooter returning to the Games at the age of 50 following a 12-year absence.

He finished 18th.

Swimmer Alex Sobers and squash player Meagan Best were presented with the junior male and female Athlete of the Year prizes.

Despite the BOA ending Rio 2016 without a medal, their President Steve Stoute claimed the year had seen the organisation achieve several successes.

Akela Jones competed in the high jump and heptathlon at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games ©Getty Images
Akela Jones competed in the high jump and heptathlon at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games ©Getty Images

"I am pleased to announce that during 2016, thanks to the support of the Ministry of Finance and the Barbados Lottery, our BOA funding programmes and scholarships continued steadily," said Stoute.

"Our Olympic Academy also increased its activities in coaching, sports management and anti-substance abuse programmes.

"We also are now one of the few National Olympic Committees in the region to be conducting the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) advanced nine administrative course.

"We have also partnered with the Coaching Association of Canada to enhance our local coaching capacity and continue to strengthen our sporting infrastructure."

Several special guests were presented at the ceremony, including the BOA’s patron and Governor General of Barbados, Sir Elliott Belgrave.

IOC member Sir Austin Sealy and the United States’ nine-time Olympic champion Carl Lewis were also present.

Lewis, the coach of Barbadian sprinter Mario Burke, had a featured address on the evening.

The event also paid special recognition to people who have serve the Olympic Movement and have significantly contributed to the development of sport in Barbados.