Starlets have excelled but only one can win this race

By Danny Caro, September 8, 2011
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Endurance: Goodman

Endurance: Goodman

Maccabi GB have unveiled the shortlist for this year's Sports Awards.

A high-class list of nine features in the JC Junior Sportsperson award when long-distance runner Richard Goodman will be looking to retain his crown.

Daniel Field, who plays for England's blind cricket team, spearheads the challenge in the senior category which he won last year. He will line up alongside eight other athletes.

Members of the successful Team GB squad, who recently brought home 78 medals, will attend the event in Radlett.

Master blaster: Paris

Master blaster: Paris

JC JUNIOR SPORTSPERSON NOMINEES

● Shello Epstein (Gymnastics)

Represented Great Britain at the Gymnastrada – the world's largest gymnastic event – in July. Epstein, 16, achieved second place at the European Gymnastics Championships in 2010. She is currently training with Childs Hill gymnastics display team. The multi-talented youngster also won the Schools trampolining competition and has given display performances at the Royal Albert Hall.

● YARON GERBER (Swimming)

Competed in his first ASA UK National Championship this year, exceeding his expectations by taking gold in the 100m breaststroke for his age group. Gerber, 13, won in a PB time of 1:14:86, competing for Barnet Copthall.

● RICHARD GOODMAN (Track & Field)

The current holder of the title, Goodman, 18, has continued his high level of achievement in 2011. He competed for Great Britain at the BUPA International in Edinburgh against teams from USA and Europe in January and two months later, he competed in the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Spain. Goodman holds a PB of 1.53 in the 800m and 3.45 in the 1,500m. A double gold medalist at the 2009 Macabiah, he is taking a gap year in Kenya in 2012, where he will live, train and work with leading middle and long-distance runners. He is being funded by UK Sport as part of their world-class pathway programme – targeting him to be a medal winner at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

● SHACHAR HEAD (Power Lifting)

At just 15, Head holds the World, European, British and Divisional records in her age and weight categories with PBs of 125kg (squat), 73kg (bench press) and 150kg (deadlift). She finished runner-up at the European Championships in her weight category despite being the youngest competitor. Her performances have enabled her to compete at the World Championships, to be held in Glasgow in November. Head has also been shortlisted as an Olympic Torchbearer for London 2012.

● ELISE LAZARUS (Squash)

Ranked No. 1 at Under 11 and Under 13 in England, Lazarus, 10, is also placed No. 2 in Europe in the Under 13 category. Aged nine, she was the youngest-ever athlete to represent her country in the sport.

● JOSH NEWMAN (Trampoline)

Newman, 13, capped a hugely successful year by winning the Under 13 British Championships in Birmingham. He also took gold at the London Youth Games. A member of the super-elite national development squad in July, he was selected to compete on GB senior selection day for the World Championships.

● JOSHUA PARIS (Tennis)

Ranked in the top 10 in Europe and the UK, Paris, 15, represented Great Britain at the European Youth Olympics in Turkey and has won tournaments in Tallin and Sofia. He recently won his first ITS points and his ranking will be announced later this month .

● SCOTT SPURLING (Rugby Union)

Playing at hooker, Spurling, 18, is an England Under 18 and Under 20 international. He signed a two-year contract with Saracens in July after completing his A-levels at Harrow School on a sports scholarship. He played against Italy, Scotland, Wales and Ireland last season and is set to represent Great Britain at the Junior Commonwealth Games in September.

● ZAK ZILESNICK (Table Tennis)

Ranked No. 5 junior in the country, Zilesnick, 16, is also placed No. 33 in the men's national rating list and 907 in the world. He is the former national champion at Under 12, 13 and 14 age categories. His focus in 2011 has been on the European Maccabi Games in Vienna, where he won three gold medals. Having trained in France at the beginning of the year, Zilesnick won an unprecedented five titles at the MGB Championships.

The list of nominess for the Senior award features Sara Davis, Daniel Field, Daniel Grant, Jonathan Kurrant, Nathaniel Lane, Aaron Liffchak, Lara Nyman, Adam Warner and Sam Waley-Cohen.

Last updated: 3:48pm, September 21 2011