Olympians dominate Halberg finalists

By Dylan Cleaver

Olympic gold medalist Lisa Carrington is a finalist for sportswoman of the year. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Olympic gold medalist Lisa Carrington is a finalist for sportswoman of the year. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Olympic sports dominate the finalists for the Halberg Awards announced tonight.

Single sculls champion Mahe Drysdale is nominated for Sportsman of the Year' finalists, with fellow gold medallists Eric Murray and Hamish Bond (pair), and Joseph Sullivan and Nathan Cohen (double scull) up for the teams gong.

Sailing's Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, who won silver in the 49ers in London, will also contend for Team of the Year alongside fellow sailors, Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie, who took gold in the women's 470.

The All Blacks, after retaining the Bledisloe Cup and winning the Rugby Championship, are also nominated for Team of the Year.

Sportswoman of the Year would appear to be the most closely contested of the four major categories.

Valerie Adams retained her Olympic title in hugely contentious circumstances and Sarah Walker was superb in winning silver in the BMX. Both would be worthy winners but it is difficult to see how either can match the breakthrough years of kayaking's Lisa Carrington, another gold medal winner in London, and the remarkable achievements of golfer Lydia Ko.

It would be no surprise if the overall winner came from this category, although Bond and Murray capping off four unbeaten years with gold possibly make the most compelling case.

Para-swimming champion, Sophie Pascoe, who took three gold and three silver medals at the Paralympic Games, joins fellow para-swimming gold medallists Mary Fisher and Cameron Leslie as finalists in the Disabled Sportsperson of the Year category. Gold, silver and bronze medal winning para-cyclist, Phillipa Grey completes that list.

Finalists

Sportswoman of the Year:
Lisa Carrington (Canoeing)
Valerie Adams (Athletics)
Lydia Ko (Golf)
Sarah Walker (BMX)

Sportsman of the Year:
Mahe Drysdale (Rowing)
Andrew Nicholson (Equestrian)
Simon van Velthooven (Cycling)
Richie McCaw (Rugby)

Disabled Sportsperson of the Year Award:
Cameron Leslie (Para Swimming)
Mary Fisher (Para Swimming)
Phillipa Gray (Para Cycling)
Sophie Pascoe (Para Swimming)

Team of the Year:
NZ Men's Double Scull - Joseph Sullivan and Nathan Cohen (Rowing)
NZ Men's Pair - Eric Murray & Hamish Bond (Rowing)
NZ Women's 470 Team - Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (Sailing)
NZ Men's 49er Class Team - Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (Sailing)
All Blacks (Rugby)

* The supreme Halberg Award comes from the winner of these categories.

Emerging Talent:
Andrew McKenzie (Sailing)
Lydia Ko (Golf)
Dylan Kennett (Track Cycling)
Anton Cooper (Mountain Biking)

Coach of the Year:
Gordon Walker (Canoeing)
Richard Tonks (Rowing)
Calvin Ferguson (Rowing)
Nathan Handley (Sailing)

- NZ Herald

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