KIN 2016 AWARDS: NZ Sportswoman

The battle of the L’s

By Roger Childs

Luuka Jones won silver in Rio
Luuka Jones won silver in Rio

Last year the four main contenders were Lydia, Lisa, Lauren and Linda. This year a fifth L can be added: Luuka Jones.

From the 2015 list, Lauren Boyle unfortunately was sick during the Olympics and consequently below her best, but she would still never have beaten American teenage star Katie Ledecky in the 400m or 800m swimming final. And Linda Villumsen didn’t win the expected medal in the time trial in Rio.

Luuka Jones won a silver in the canoe slalom at Rio, but that brilliant effort can’t compete with world champions.

Lisa Carrington: world’s best again!

Gold in Rio for Carrington
Gold in Rio for Carrington

Lisa has been a world class kayaker since 2010 when she won gold in the 1000m pairs event at the World Championships in Vichy. Since then she has specialised in the fast and furious K1 200m. In this event she has been the world’s best since 2011.

She has won five world championships in the K1 200m and in August this year at Rio repeated her feat of winning gold in the event.

She also picked up a bronze in the KI 500m, making her the only New Zealand Olympian to win two medals.

She would be a very worthy Sportswoman of the Year.

Lydia Ko: on top of the world again!

Lydia finished the year as world number one in the incredibly competitive sport of golf. She also took the silver medal in the women’s single in the Rio Olympics.

lydia-ko-evian-2015 She had many other highlights in 2016, including:

  • four wins in 24 LPGA Tour tournaments
  • 14 top-10 finishes
  • banking $3.56 million in earnings
  • winning the first major of the year: the ANA Inspiration
  • two other top-threes in majors.

She is a very strong contender to become Sportswoman of the Year for the fourth time.

KIN’s pick

Lisa Carrington has been the world’s best canoeist over the KI 200m for five years and was a double Olympic medalist this year.

lisa-c-2015 From 2011 to 2015 she has not be able to head off Valerie Adams and Lydia Ko for the prestigious Sportswoman title, however this year her credentials are very impressive. Adams was second at Rio in the shot put, so is not in the running this year.

Lydia Ko ended the year as world number one in the world of women’s golf. (There are more than 1000 women who have a ranking.)

This outcome is incredible and has been achieved over a series of tournaments throughout the year. However she did not win the Globe Trophy she picked up in 2015, and her medal in Rio was just silver!

Nevertheless she remains world number in the most competitive sport in the world!

Lisa or Lydia: it’s a beautiful choice! We are going for Lisa Carrington: she deserves to win her first Sportswoman of the Year.