4 Feb 2010

Women athletes reign supreme at Halberg Awards

10:50 pm on 4 February 2010

Women reigned supreme at the Halberg Awards on Thursday, with shot-putter Valerie Vili winning New Zealand's ultimate sporting prize for the third year and rowers Caroline and Georgina Evers-Swindell crowned Champions of the Decade.

Vili, the world and Olympic shot put champion, won the Supreme Award at the ceremony held in Auckland.

She was also judged Sportswoman of the Year award for the fourth time, equalling boardsailor Barbara Kendall's record.

Vili is only the second person behind Olympic rowing champion Rob Waddell to complete a Halberg hat-trick. She is also the first woman to capture the Supreme Award three times.

World single sculls rowing champion Mahe Drysdale was named Sportsman of the Year, while the world champion rowing pair of Eric Murray and Hamish Bond won the Sports Team of the Year award.

The Evers-Swindell twins completed a golden night for rowing. Their back-to-back single sculls win at the Athens and Beijing Olympics gave them the edge over the decade's other Supreme Award winners.