Face of the Day

For five straight years since 2011, Lisa Carrington was among the finalists in the Sportswoman of the Year category only to miss out on each occasion.

But in her sixth time of trying in Auckland on Thursday night, not only did Carrington do enough to sway the judges her way in the women’s category, she went home with New Zealand’s highest sporting accolade, the supreme Halberg Award.

And for 27-year-old paddler from Tauranga, it was all worth the wait.

“It’s been a really tough four years from London until now so it is really nice to have the award tonight,” Carrington said.

“Looking at the trophy and the names on the trophy is amazing and it’s great to be a part of that history.”

Carrington overcame a fiercely competitive sportswoman category, breaking world No 1 golfer Lydia Ko’s three-year winning streak while Rio silver medallists Luuka Jones and Dame Valerie Adams, a six-time recipient of the award, were also nominated.

Even then, up against Olympic champion sailors Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, who took out the Team of the Year award, Sportsman of the Year Mahe Drysdale and Disabled Sportsperson of the Year winner Liam Malone, she never really gave herself a chance of claiming the overall prize.

“Not really,” Carrington added. “Mahe’s done amazing and Liam Malone and stuff. It’s been an incredible year for all of us so I think everyone’s quite deserving.”

With her dual success in Rio, Carrington became the first New Zealand woman to win multiple medals at the same Olympics.

She is also the only kayaker, female or male, to win world championship medals in both K1 events every year since the 2012 London Games.

The challenge now for Carrington and her coach Gordon Walker, who was crowned Coach of the Year, is to try and build on such high standards over the next Olympic cycle.

Onya Lisa. ?Onya


– Stuff