Olympian vies for sportsperson award

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser

Olympian Sonja Johnson narrowly missed gaining selection for her second Olympic games last year but her standout year could see her return to the top of Albany’s sporting elite tomorrow night.

Despite being overlooked for the Australian Olympic eventing team for the Rio Olympics, Johnson will vie for the senior title at the Wellington and Reeves Albany Sportsperson of the Year Awards against a quality field of finalists.

It has been a decade since the South Stirling farmer tasted success at the awards, last winning the senior title in 2007 to go with triumphs in 2004 and 1999.

Standing in her way will be dominant lever-action rifle shooter Steve Hurley, who claimed his seventh senior and second overall title last year, who will again enter the awards as one of the fancies.

The gala presentation and dinner will be held at Albany Entertainment Centre tomorrow night, recognising Albany’s sporting stars of 2016.

A class field of 33 nominees will vie for the junior, senior and veteran categories before the overall winner is announced.

Star cyclist Craig Wiggins will vie for his third straight junior title win in a junior field from eight sports.

A host of former winners will contest the veteran category, proving age is no barrier.

The Albany Sportsperson of the Year awards, sponsored by the Albany Advertiser, is in its 44th year of recognising the outstanding performance and overall contribution of local athletes.

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