Athletes with strong links to Whanganui feature among the 26 finalists announced for six categories at the 57th ISPS Handa Halberg Awards.
The awards ceremony is New Zealand's pre-eminent event to celebrate and honour sporting achievements from 2019.
Among the finalists is UFC World Middleweight Champion title winner Israel Adesanya and Whanganui sisters Kerri and Jackie Gowler.
Adesanya, who went to school and began his mixed martial arts career in Whanganui, is up against 2018 supreme Halberg Award winner, shot putter Tom Walsh who placed first overall in shot put at the 2019 IAAF Diamond League, Bathurst winner Scott McLaughlin and Black Caps captain Kane Williamson who led his team to the ICC Cricket World Cup final.
Adesanya's coach, Aucklander Eugene Bareman, is also a finalist in the Buddle Findlay Coach of the Year category.
The Gowler sisters are finalists in the ISPS Handa Team of the Year category as part of the New Zealand Women's Eight rowing crew, one of two crews named. The other is Women's Double of Olivia Loe and Brooke Donoghue.
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They are up against Netball World Cup winners the Silver Ferns and ICC Cricket World Cup finalists the Black Caps. Last year's ISPS Handa Team of the Year winner the Black Ferns Sevens are one of the five teams up for the hotly contested category after claiming the World Sevens Series.
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The winners are announced on February 13.
Halberg Awards finalists Team of the Year (eligible for supreme Halberg Award)
Black Ferns Sevens (rugby)
Black Caps (cricket)
Silver Ferns (netball)
Women's Eight (rowing)
Women's Double - Olivia Loe and Brooke Donoghue - (rowing)
Para athlete/team of the Year (eligible for supreme Halberg Award)
Cameron Leslie (Para swimming, wheelchair rugby)
Emma Foy and Hannah van Kampen (Para cycling)
Lisa Adams (Para athletics)
Sophie Pascoe (Para swimming)
High Performance Sport New Zealand Sportswoman of the Year (eligible for supreme Halberg Award)
Courtney Duncan (motorcycling)
Lisa Carrington (canoe racing)
Laura Langman (netball)
Zoi Sadowski-Synnott (snowboarding)
Sportsman of the Year (eligible for supreme Halberg Award)
Israel Adesanya (mixed martial arts)
Kane Williamson (cricket)
Scott McLaughlin (motorsport)
Tom Walsh (athletics)
Coach of the Year
Eugene Bareman (mixed martial arts)
Gary Hay (rowing)
Gordon Walker (canoe racing)
Noeline Taurua (netball)
Roly Crichton (Para swimming)
Alice Robinson (ski racing)
Erika Fairweather (swimming)
Laurence Pithie (cycling)
Seb Menzies and Blake McGlashan (yachting).