14 November 2019
Australia’s international success over the past 12 months has been strongly reflected among the finalists for the High Performance Program of the Year and Male Para-athlete of the Year categories for next month’s AIS Sport Performance Awards (#ASPAs).
World number one Dylan Alcott is a finalist for Male Para-athlete of the Year after a standout year which saw him take home the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon wheelchair tennis quad singles titles while world champion Michael Roeger notches up his second #ASPAs nomination with his world record time in the London Marathon also featuring in the people’s choice Sporting Moment of the Year.
The High Performance Program of the Year category recognises quality of sporting performance, conduct and professionalism, positive community influence and innovation.
The awards are the annual celebration of Australian high performance sport and the winners will be announced at a black-tie function at The Star, Sydney, on Tuesday 10 December 2019.
Finalists for Male Para-athlete of the Year are:
- Dylan Alcott (Wheelchair tennis): Dylan enjoyed an outstanding 2019 winning the Wheelchair Quad Singles titles at the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon Championships and was runner-up at the US Open. He also won the Australian, French, Wimbledon and US Wheelchair Quad Doubles titles.
- Curtis McGrath (Para-canoe): Curtis continued to excel throughout 2019 when successfully defending his KL2 200m and VL3 200m world titles at the 2019 ICF Para canoe World Championships. The victories also marked his ninth and tenth consecutive world titles. He wrapped up the 2019 season with gold in the VL3 200m and silver in the KL200m at the Ready Steady Tokyo test event.
- David Nicholas (Para-cycling): David became a triple UCI Para-cycling World Championship gold medallist on the track and road in 2019. He won track gold medals in the Men's C3 Individual Pursuit and the Men's C3 Scratch Race and added a further gold on the road in the C3 Individual Time Trial.
- Grant Patterson (Para-swimming): Grant won a silver medal in the 50m breaststroke (SB2 class) and bronze in the 150m Individual Medley (SM3 class) at the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships in London. He was also a finalist in the 200m freestyle (S3 class).
- Michael Roeger (Para-athletics): Competing in only his second marathon, Michael won the 2019 World Para Athletics Championship marathon (T46 class) which was held in conjunction with the London Marathon. He won the race in a world record 2hrs 22min 51sec to easily smashed the previous world record of 2hrs 26min 44sec.
- Ben Tudhope (Para-snowboard): Ben produced his best ever season winning nine World Cup medals
on the international circuit. He won World Para-snowboard's Crystal Globe for the most points won in the men's Banked Slalom over the season, and was second in the overall Crystal Globe standings for his consistent performances throughout the season.
Finalists for High Performance Program of the Year are:
- Hockey Australia: The Kookaburras re-claimed the number one world ranking after winning the inaugural FIH Pro League Champions title when winning 12 of 16 matches. The Hockeyroos finished second in the FIH Pro League behind the Netherlands when losing 4-3 in a penalty shootout after scores were tied at full-time.
- Para Table Tennis: Australia won 17 gold, five silver and 10 bronze medals across four International Para events in 2019. Sam von Einem (class 11 singles) was undefeated when winning gold in the Japan Para Open and the 2019 Global Games.
- Rowing Australia: Australia won 15 gold, 13 silver and nine bronze medals in the 2019 season including World Championship winning performances from the Women’s Four and the PR2 Women’s Singles. Australia’s overall performances at the two 2019 World Cups saw them crowned winner of the 2019 World Rowing Cup for the first time.
- Surfing Australia: Stephanie Gilmore won the 2018 Women’s World Title (decided in December 2018) and Julian Wilson finished runner up in the 2018 Men’s World Title race. Team Australia enjoyed success winning the ISA Aloha Cup gold medal at the 2019 ISA World Surfing Games in Japan.
Finalists will be announced in other categories over the next two weeks for the AIS Sport Performance Awards (#ASPAs), including Team of the Year, Male Athlete of the Year, Female Para-athlete of the Year, Emerging Athlete of the Year, Leadership Award and Athlete Community Engagement.
Female Athlete of the Year finalists (Kelsey-Lee Barber, Ash Barty, Stephanie Gilmore, Hannah Green, Jessica Fox and Ariarne Titmus) and Coach of the Year (Colin Batch, Michael Blackburn, Tom Westgarth and Tim Decker) were announced earlier this week.
The AIS, in partnership with ABC Grandstand, has also launched a public vote to determine the ABC Sport Personality of the Year and Sporting Moment of the Year of the past 12 months.
ABC Grandstand is the media partner for the AIS Sport Performance Awards and Australians can vote at aisawards.abc.net.au from now until 5pm AEDT on 5 December, 2019.