Wide-open field for juniors
A new rising sports star will be crowned tonight, with 12 finalists vying to be a first-time junior winner at the Wellington and Reeves Albany Sportsperson of the Year Awards.
The junior category of the 46th awards, to be held at Centennial Stadium, is set to be hotly contested, with an outstanding field from nine different sports set to contest the title. Swimming young gun Tom Gawned, cycling sisters Danica and Emily Wiggins, and rising tennis star Abbi Gibson are just some of the finalists in the stellar field.
The junior category has been dominated in recent years by cyclist Craig Wiggins, who has won four previous titles and was the 2016 overall winner.
But Wiggins moves into the senior category fresh off his fourth junior win last year. The rising cycling star will vie for his first senior gong against a quality field of finalists from a variety of sports, including modern pentathlon competitor Tori Squire and seven-time senior winner, shooter Steve Hurley.
Waterskier Steven Moss, who was last year’s senior and overall sportsperson of the year, is not nominated this year.
Surf lifesaver Jo Lucas, triathlete and former winner Dermot Buckley, and veteran hockey star Paul Murray headline the list of veteran finalists, which includes two previous winners of the category.
From the three category winners on the night, an overall Albany sportsperson of the year will be crowned at the gala presentation.
The awards, sponsored by the Albany Advertiser, are run by the City of Albany, which has secured former Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson as guest speak-er.
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