Black Ferns Sevens captain Sarah Hirini. Photo / Getty Images
A huge year for New Zealand sport on land and sea was reflected in the finalists for the Halberg Awards.
A year that saw New Zealand claim their best ever Olympic Games medal, Black Caps win the World Test Championship, Emirates Team New Zealand defend the America’s Cup at home and much more, 58 finalists were announced for the annual sports awards. .
The awards judges – comprising elite former athletes and coaches, sports administrators and current sports media – selected the finalists from 79 nominations received from national sports organizations and an independent nominating committee for achievements in 2020 and 2021.
The variety of successes the country has enjoyed can be seen in the Team of the Year finalists, with the Black Caps, Team New Zealand, Black Ferns Sevens, Men’s Rowing Eight and Women’s Pair of Kerri Gowler and Grace Prendergast all having big claims. On title.
Dame Lisa Carrington, who received the nickname GOAT on a boat after winning her fifth Olympic gold medal in canoeing in Tokyo, is among the finalists in the women’s category again, alongside golf star Lydia Ko, three-time motocross world champion Courtney Duncan, gold medalist rower Emma Twigg and Black Ferns Sevens captain Sarah Hirini.
The category of men also has familiar names. The perennial Hamish Bond, who was part of the gold medal-winning men’s eight-rowing team in Tokyo, is among the finalists, against IndyCar ace Scott Dixon, squash star Paul Coll and captain of Black Caps Kane Williamson.
There is only gold among the finalists for Para-Athlete / Team of the Year, with Dame Sophie Pascoe, Tupou Neiufi, Lisa Adams, Holly Grimaldi and Holly Robinson for the award. Each of the five athletes won gold medals in their discipline of choice at the Tokyo Paralympic Games.
Allan Bunting and Cory Sweeney, Gary Stead, Gordon Walker and Tony O’Connor are the finalists for Coach of the Year, while Connor Bell, Cool Wakushima, Erika Fairweather, Grace Nweke and Marko Stamenic are in the running for the award. emerging talents.
The winners will be announced at the 59th Handa Halberg Awards in Auckland on February 23.
Complete list of finalists
Team of the Year (eligible for the Supreme Halberg Award)
Black caps (cricket)
Emirates Team New Zealand (sailing)
Rowing eight men
Women’s rowing pair Kerri Gowler and Grace Prendergast
Para-athlete / Team of the Year (eligible for the Supreme Halberg Award)
Dame Sophie Pascoe (swimming)
Lisa Adams (athletics)
Holly Robinson (athletics)
Anna Grimaldi (athletics)
Tupou Neuifi (swimming)
Sportsman of the Year (eligible for the Supreme Halberg Award)
Hamish Bond (rowing)
Scott Dixon (Motorsport)
Kane Williamson (cricket)
Paul Coll (squash)
Sportswoman of the Year (eligible for the Supreme Halberg Award)
Dame Lisa Carrington (canoe race)
Courtney Duncan (motocross)
Emma Twigg (rowing)
Sarah Hirini (seven)
Lydia Ko (golf)
Coach of the Year
Allan Bunting and Cory Sweeney (seven)
Gary Stead (cricket)
Gordon Walker (canoe race)
Tony O’Connor (rowing).
Connor Bell (athletics)
Cool Wakushima (snowboard)
Erika Fairweather (swimming)
Grace Nweke (netball)
Marko Stamenic (football)