New Zealand sevens player Sarah Goss and rower Robbie Manson have won the Oceania athlete of the year awards at the ANOC (Association of National Olympic Committees) 2017 Awards in Prague.
The award marks a stand out year for Goss who captained the Black Ferns Sevens team to win the 2016/2017 HSBC Women’s Sevens World Series. Notably she captained the team to victories at the Las Vegas and Kitakyushu tournaments and to third place in Sydney. The Black Ferns Sevens beat rivals and Olympic gold medallists, Australia, in every match they played this year and lost only one game throughout the entire series.
The 24 year old also represented her country in the Black Ferns fifteen-a-side team, winning the Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland.
“2017 has been an incredible year for me and my team. We came back from Rio and won four of the five World Series Tournaments so to take out the World Series and win the fifteens World Cup and bring that home was pretty special,” she said.
Goss is now looking towards another World Sevens Series and the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Above: Portia Woodman and Sarah Goss with the Women's Rugby World Cup
Robbie Manson has also had a break out year, taking the men’s single scull category by storm. Taking the place of Olympic champion Mahe Drysdale, Manson blasted onto the international scene with a blistering performance at the World Rowing Cup II in Poznan, Poland where he secured not only a gold medal but demolished Drysdale’s longstanding world record time.
Injury saw the 28 year old miss the Henley Royal Regatta, but he returned true to form in World Rowing Cup III in Lucerne, Switzerland, claiming another gold medal in convincing style.
Manson says breaking the world record was his standout moment of 2017.
“That was amazing, it was a real high for me. I’m back into training now for summer races and National Champs then working towards World Champs next year with big goal of Tokyo 2020,” he said.
The winners of the awards were selected by the ANOC Jury from a shortlist provided by each of the Continental Associations.
Above: Robbie Manson at the ANOC AwardsGold Coast 2018 Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games Commonwealth Games Sarah Hirini Robbie Manson