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It has been a big couple of days for Courtney Duncan.
She also held off stiff competition from Olympic cyclist Holly Edmondston to win sportswoman of the year.
It is the fourth time Duncan has won Waitaki’s top gong, which was accepted by her family.
In a video message, Duncan told the 190 guests at the Waitaki Community Recreation Centre she was ‘‘gutted’’ to miss the awards and appreciated the honour.
‘‘I just want to say a huge shout-out to the community, North Otago, for all the support you guys give me and following my journey — really appreciated,’’ Duncan said.
Judge Adair Craik said Duncan’s attitude and aptitude in winning three world titles, and returning from injuries, made her stand out.
New Zealand rower Logan Docherty won sportsman of the year.
The lightweight rower was selected in the New Zealand under-21 heavyweight men’s quad and eight last year, and continued to produce outstanding results.
Otago Sparks bowler Molly Loe won junior sportswoman of the year, while basketballer Danyon Ashcroft was junior sportsman.
North Otago Cricket’s Hawke Cup-winning team was named team of the year and former coach Pete Cartwright picked up coach of the year.
New Zealand endurance rider Rachel Stocks won masters sportsperson, Marty McCone was recognised for his services to sport for golf, and Quinn Burge won official in sport for touch.
Lucy Mavor and Mason Kingan claimed the emerging talent awards.
Former Otago Daily Times correspondent Terry O’Neill and New Zealand’s first winter Olympian Herbie Familton were inducted into the Waitaki Sports Hall of Fame.
O’Neill, who played 28 games for North Otago rugby, recently retired after 50 years covering North Otago Sport.
Familton, who died in 2002, placed 77th in the giant slalom at the 1952 Olympic Games, was a founding member of the North Otago Ski Club and helped develop the Awakino skifield.
There was also a special presentation in memory of former Oamaru rowing coach, the late Owen Gould.
Gould’s widow Linda, and son Jeff, presented his green coat, for coaching Docherty to a New Zealand premier title, to the club.
He is the second Oamaru Rowing Club coach in 135 years to receive a green coat behind Rusty Robertson.
Rally driver Hayden Paddon was the guest speaker.