All the winners from the 55th Halberg Awards.

Comparing such achievements is a next-to-impossible task, but the onus must go on celebrating rather than denigrating why each deserves their respective gong.

Hell, who am I kidding? It wouldn't be a Halbergs night without a requisite moan, but more on that below.

For now, please pause as we open the speculative envelope.



An unprecedented four medals at a single world championships should see Lisa Carrington paddle off with the honour.

The six-time nominee and one-time winner (last year when she also secured the supreme award) triumphed in the K1 200m, K2 500m (with Caitlin Ryan), secured silver in the K1 500m and bronze in the K4 500m.

Sarah Goss and Portia Woodman might run her close as members of the World Cup-winning XVs side and world series-winning sevens squad but Carrington's feat is rare.

Man (and sporting moment)

Shot putter Tom Walsh should get the nod as the first New Zealand male to win an outdoor world track and field championship title in the 34 years of the event.

He finished with a 22.03m throw in London, but had to increase his distance across the competition to keep the field at bay.

Brendon Hartley might have a sniff.

His victories in the FIA World Endurance Championship and Le Mans 24-hour race were topped with becoming New Zealand's first Formula One driver in 33 years after Mike Thackwell.

Marc Peard prepares for the Halberg Awards.

Disabled person

An evenly-contested category with swimmer Sophie Pascoe's six world records at the national short-course championships vying against silver medals to 800m runner William Stedman and javelin thrower Holly Robinson at their world championships.

Sit-skier Corey Peters' dual silvers in downhill and super G at the world para-alpine championships in Italy could see him take the tape.

Team (and supreme winner)

Corporate syndicate Emirates Team New Zealand are eligible for the Halberg Awards because they represent the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron. That qualifies them under the rules.

It's hard to argue – certainly if you're using the Herald audience's unquenchable thirst for stories – that their achievement in Bermuda did not capture the public imagination more than anything else.

The mixture of beating a billionaire, sailing in an exotic location and the 'Kiwi' cyclor ingenuity might prove an intoxicating mix for the judges.

The Black Ferns might be a dark horse.

The professionalism shown by a largely amateur squad to win a fifth World Cup could earn a few 'Kiwi battler' votes.

Their achievement will be worth far more than a Halberg if the class of 2017 propel New Zealand Rugby into offering professional contracts next month.