Halberg Awards: Winter Olympians headline 2018 finalists

Porteous and Sadowski-Synnott won bronze and silver medals respectively.
Porteous and Sadowski-Synnott won bronze and silver medals respectively. Photo credit: Getty

Winter sports and women's youth football headline the finalists for the 2018 Halberg Awards, announced on Thursday.

Winter Olympic medallists Zoe Sadowski-Synnott and and Nico Porteous have been nominated in the Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year categories respectively, after their efforts at Pyeongchang.

The historic feat of the Football Ferns U17 side, earning a semi-final berth at the U17 Women's World Cup in Uruguay, has been recognised with a Team of the Year nod. Ccoach Leon Birnie is also in for the running for Coach of the Year.

The Sportswoman of the Year nominees are rounded out by canoeist Lisa Carrington, Badminton Horse trials winner Jonelle Price and squash star Joelle King.

Shot put world champion Tom Walsh is up for Sportsman of the Year yet again, alongside Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin and IndyCar champion Scott Dixon.

Both the Black Ferns Sevens coach Allan Bunting and All Blacks Sevens coach Clark Laidlaw are in the running for Coach of the Year, with Ireland rugby maestro Joe Schmidt.

The All Blacks miss out on a Team of the Year berth for the second straight year, beat out by the NZ women's kayaking team, the U17 Football Ferns, the Blacks Ferns and All Blacks Sevens, and the Black Sticks women.

White Ferns teenage spin princess Amelia Kerr is among the nominees for Emerging Talent of the year, with swimmer Lewis Clareburt, U17 Football Ferns goalkeeper Anna Leat and shot putter Maddison-Lee Wesche, who won gold at the Under 20 IAAF World Championships.

The winners will be announced at the awards dinner in Auckland on February 21.

Full list of awards nominees

Sportswoman of the Year 
Joelle King (squash), Jonelle Price (equestrian), Lisa Carrington (canoe racing), Zoi Sadowski-Synnott (snowboarding).

Sportsman of the Year 
Nico Porteous (free-skiing), Scott Dixon (motorsport), Scott McLaughlin (motorsport), Tom Walsh (athletics) 

Para Athlete/Team of the Year 
Adam Hall (para alpine skiing), Corey Peters (para alpine skiing), Scott Martlew (para canoe racing), Sophie Pascoe (para swimming)

Team of the Year 
All Blacks Sevens (rugby), Black Ferns Sevens (rugby), NZ Football U17 women (football), NZ women’s kayaking team (canoe racing), Black Sticks women (hockey)

Coach of the Year
Allan Bunting (rugby), Clark Laidlaw (rugby), Gordon Walker (canoe racing), Joe Schmidt (rugby), Leon Birnie (football)

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