Who will be crowned the best of the best at tonight's Halberg Awards?

The Herald

breaks down the key categories and attempts to work out who will win take home the gongs.

Sportsman of the year

The nominees
Joseph Parker (Boxing)
Mahe Drysdale (Rowing)
Nick Willis (Athletics)
Tom Walsh (Athletics)

The skinny:
It's Olympic medals vs a boxing world heavyweight title. What works in favour of the Olympians is that there is just one Olympic, not four. Gold medals trump all. That's been the way since 1896. Drysdale has previously won the category four times as well as the supreme award in 2006.


We say:
Drysdale 9 votes, Parker 2 votes, Willis 1 vote

Herald readers say:
Drysdale 78%
Parker 13%
Walsh 6%
Willis 3%

And the winner is...Drysdale

Sportswoman of the year

The nominees
Lisa Carrington (Canoeing)
Luuka Jones (Canoeing)
Lydia Ko (Golf)
Valerie Adams (Athletics)

The skinny:
Carrington became the first New Zealand female to claim multiple medals at an Olympics while Adams, seven time winner of the category, fell just short of winning three straight golds. Ko, three time Halberg winner, is the world number on in a very popular sport and claimed her second career major, while finishing top three in two others. It is the fifth straight year Carrington has been nominated - she has never won. Adams is a three-time winner of the supreme award and Ko was supreme winner in 2013.

We say: Carrington 8 votes, Ko 4 votes
Herald readers say:
Carrington 65%
Ko 28%
Adams 4%
Jones 3%

And the winner is...Carrington

Sports team of the year

The nominees
Men's 49er - Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (Yachting)
Men's Pair - Hamish Bond and Eric Murray (Rowing)
Team Sprint - Eddie Dawkins, Ethan Mitchell and Sam Webster (Cycling)
Women's 470 - Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (Yachting).

The skinny: It's a two-way battle between the gold medallists - Bond and Murray and Burling and Tuke. Both dominated their respective events not just at the Olympics but also during the entire year. Bond and Murray are three-time winners of the category.

We say: Bond and Murray 7 votes, Burling and Tuke 5 votes
Herald readers say:
Bond and Murray 60%
Burling and Tuke 37%
Team sprint 2%
Aleh and Powrie 1%

And the winner is...Bond and Murray

Hamish Bond and Eric Murray won gold in the men's pairs in Rio. Photosport
Hamish Bond and Eric Murray won gold in the men's pairs in Rio. Photosport

Disabled Sportsperson of the Year

The skinny: Another two-way battle in New Zealand's own version of the Bolt v Phelps debate. Malone claimed two golds and a silver on the track while Pascoe won three golds and two silvers. Pascoe has won the award four of the last five years.

The nominees
Anna Grimaldi (Para-Athletics)
Liam Malone (Para-Athletics)
Mary Fisher (Para-Swimming)
Sophie Pascoe (Para-Swimming).

We say: Malone 12 votes
Herald readers say:
Pascoe 58%
Malone 40%
Grimaldi 1%
Fisher 1%

And the winner is...Liam Malone (but it could be close)

Liam Malone (right) winning gold in the 200mT44 at the Rio Paralympics. Photosport
Liam Malone (right) winning gold in the 200mT44 at the Rio Paralympics. Photosport

Coach of the Year

The nominees
Gordon Walker (Canoeing)
Hamish Willcox (Yachting)
Jeremy McColl (Athletics)
Steve Hansen (Rugby)

The skinny: The Hansen coached All Blacks were dominant all season with the exception of the Chicago defeat to Ireland. McColl was key behind Eliza McCartney's bronze medal effort at the Rio Games. Willcox and Walker coached gold medallists in Rio. Hansen won coach of the year in 2013 and 2015.

We say: McColl 6 votes, Hansen 3 votes, Wilcox 2 votes, Walker 1 vote
Herald readers say:
Hansen 36%
McColl 35%
Wilcox 17%
Walker 12%

And the winner is...Jeremy McColl