Sam Willoughby wins The Advertiser Channel Seven Sports Star of the Year

Autor: Administrator (, Téma: News BMX, Source: - ZAC MILBANK
Vydáno dne 01. 02. 2010 (4294 přečtení)

Sam rides in elite company

BMX champion Sam Willoughby has thrust his name high among SA's sporting elite after being crowned The Advertiser Channel Seven Sports Star of the Year. - ZAC MILBANK

Not only did the 18-year-old beat a quality field to claim the prestigious award - first won by Neil Hawke in 1965/66 - he joined four-time winner Lleyton Hewitt in becoming the youngest recipient.

The Happy Valley hero capped an outstanding 2009 when he backed up his second world junior championship victory by becoming the first Australian to win BMX's World Cup Supercross title in France.

In proving himself on the world stage, Willoughby etched his name as the youngest rider to triumph in the elite World Cup event, less than 12 months after being named as the South Australian Sports Institute's Athlete of the Year.

The strength of South Australian cycling was illustrated in Willoughby narrowly edging out two other finalists - Jack Bobridge and Anna Meares - who also thrive in the bike saddle.

Bobridge, who competed at this year's Tour Down Under with pro team Garmin Slipstream, was the first Australian to win the under-23 world time trial title in September having also won the national title in the same event.

The Track World Cup in Melbourne was Meares' scene of domination when she had three gold medals hanging around her neck for the sprint, keirin and 500m time trial.

Redbacks batting sensation Michael Klinger pressed his name for national selection on the back of averaging 70.76 on his way to being named as the Sheffield Shield's player of the year having chalked up the most runs in the domestic four-day competition.

She may not be a household name but Hannah Nielson's credentials were high class after being selected in the All-World team after helping Australia to a silver medal at the world lacrosse championships in Prague. The girl from Glengowrie also excelled at US college level, becoming the first college player to notch more than 200 career assists.

Becchara Palmer - together with partner Louise Bawden - made her presence felt on the world beach volleyball circuit by winning silver at the Mazury Open in Poland in August while Formula Ford driver Nick Percat claimed the 2009 Australian championship with 12 race victories.

Adelaide Thunderbirds centre Natalie von Bertouch not only captained her club but country on the way to winning the ANZ Championship's netballer of the year.

Super-fit Kylie Thomas bettered her state and national championships in 2009 by breaking through at the world titles in the Carribean while Luke Morrison put his name in lights with a sliver medal at the canoe sprint world championships.