Lisa Carrington has been recognised as one of our truly great sporting figures with the Halberg Award for 2016.

When her record is examined - not just the two medals she won in the kayak at Rio but dominating the K1 events every year since the previous Olympics - she ranked with our greatest already.

Her performance at Rio ought to be as memorable as Peter Snell's at Tokyo in 1964.

Like him on the 800m running track, she won the K1 200m as expected, then turned to the longer "blue riband" event of her sport as Snell did in the 1500m, and won the bronze in the K1 500m.


She is rated "probably the best single kayaker, male or female, in the world" by her coach Gordon Walker, awarded Coach of the Year. She is winning in every way. Her public manner and comments are impeccable, she is the model every sport would welcome.

Also named Sportswoman of the Year, she led a clean sweep of the Halberg Awards for Olympians.

Mahe Drysdale was Sportsman of the Year, Liam Malone was Disabled Sportsperson of the Year and yachting pair Peter Burling and Blair Tuke Team of the Year. New Zealand's record tally of 18 medals at Rio deserved no less.

In a year when the All Blacks also set a winning record, it was refreshing to see Olympians take the honours, especially Carrington.

Only Snell, Ian Ferguson and Danyon Loader had previously won double gold at the same Games. She ranks with the best of them.