It was a given as soon as the Kiwi men's pursuit cycling team finished fourth at the Olympics.
Hawke's Bay's multiple world champion Regan Gough was going to be the CHB Mail Central Hawke's Bay Sportsperson of the Year for the second time. This was confirmed when his parents, Dean and Penny, collected the award on his behalf at the annual function attended by a crowd of 350 in Waipukurau's AW Parsons Stadium last night.
They had earlier picked up the Junior Male award which Gough had won for the fourth time. He was unable to attend the function because he is racing in the Tour of Southland which ended today.
It was a memorable day for Gough as he had earlier been named in the New Zealand team to attend next month's Oceania Track Championships in Melbourne. While competing at the Olympics was the highlight of Gough's year, he also won two silvers at the Track World Cup in Cambridge.
Hawke's Bay cycling fans knew Gough had shaken off his 2015 health issues when he won the 132km Gentle Annie Race from Taihape to Hawke's Bay. It was at this event in 2015 when he was first hit with the health problems which forced him to take things easy.
It was a case of two major awards in one week for New Zealand Secondary Schools netballer and Oceania and Australia athletics champion Briana Stephenson. The Napier Girls' High School 17-year-old won the Junior Female award four nights after being crowned Hawke's Bay Secondary Schools Sportsperson of the Year.
Like Gough, Central Hawke's Bay Gymnastics Club coach Joy Kitto won two awards last night. She won the coach award and joined multisporter Garth Sherwood, netball's Sandra Corbett and athletics' Jill Waru as recipients of service to sport awards.
Kitto started her club in 1985 and this year had two gymnasts compete at the national championships. She also managed the Hawke's Bay team at the nationals, had 30 children compete at five different Hawke's Bay competitions and 50 gymnasts train up to four days each week.
Motorsport's Sam Barry captured the Senior Male award in the wake of his New Zealand V8 Ute Series win. The former speedway racer has secured a contract to race in the New Zealand Touring Car Class 1 Category this summer.
At 87, triathlete Terrance McKenzie became the oldest winner of the masters award in the history of the function. He is the world duathlon champion in his age group, as well as the New Zealand champion.
Former world squash champion Dame Susan Devoy was last night's guest speaker. It was her first visit to Waipukurau in 27 years.
"The last time I was here, I was stopped for speeding. The officer asked me my name and when I told him, he said he was Diego Maradona. He saw my licence and still gave me a ticket."
Now New Zealand's Race Relations Commissioner, Devoy said she was grateful for the opportunities sport has given her.
"It does not happen by chance. You get there by hard work."
The function acknowledged the services of Central Hawke's Bay cricket stalwart Mike Lewis, who died earlier this year, with a minute's silence.
Junior Female:Briana Stephenson (Athletics/Netball).
Junior Male: Regan Gough (Cycling).
Hall of Fame Inductee: Tony Polhill (Athletics).
Senior Female: Tanya Iremonger (Jetsprint Racing).
Senior Male: Sam Barry (Motorsport).
Junior Team: CHB Intermediate Hockey.
Senior Team: Waipukurau Golf Club's Women.
Master: Terrance McKenzie (Triathlon).
Coach: Joy Kitto (Gymnastics).
Administrator: Sam Hutchinson (Junior Football).
Official: Jack Waugh (Rugby).
Club: CHB Swim Club.
b Sandra Corbett (Netball), Jill Waru (Athletics), Garth Sherwood (Multisport Events), Joy Kitto (Gymnastics)
Surpreme Award: Regan Gough.