Mickle earns WA sports star honour

Bridget Lacy
Mickle earns WA sports star honour

Javelin star Kim Mickle capped a brilliant year by winning the State’s most prestigious individual award, The West Australian-ANZ Sports Star of the Year, at Crown Perth last night.

Mickle beat 11 of WA’s leading sporting heroes for the award on the back of the finest year of her career, highlighted by her break through silver medal at August’s world championships in Moscow.

The likeable 28-year-old is the first track and field athlete to take out the prize since champion pole vaulter Steve Hooker claimed successive awards in 2008 and 2009.

Mickle produced three personal bests and a top-three finish at every event in 2013, as well as winning a record eighth national title on her way to her first world championships medal.

The award was Mickle’s third in recent weeks, following the WA Institute of Sport athlete of the year and Athletics Australia’s female athlete of 2013.

Mickle’s success came on the back of disappointment at the London Olympics last year when she missed the final.

Now she is targeting Louise McPaul-Currey’s national record of 66.8m, Commonwealth Games and world championships glory in 2014, with one eye on Rio in 2016.

She beat a stellar field, including champion jockey Damien Oliver, WA’s first Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo and world No.5 surfer Taj Burrow.

BMX racer Lauren Reynolds, as well as cycling pair Melissa Hoskins and Luke Durbridge, tennis ace Casey Dellacqua,

Australian Diamonds goal shooter Caitlin Bassett and water polo star Glencora McGhie were also among the contenders.

Hannah Vermeersch and Alexandra Hagan, who helped the Australian women’s four to bronze at the world championships in August, were also finalists.

But the young rowers didn’t go home empty-handed after being named joint winners of the Railtrain Junior Sports Star from a field, which included surfing prodigy Jacob Willcox.

Channel 7 Team of the Year went to the Australian girls’ 420 class sailing team of Carrie Smith and Ella Clark, who won gold at the 2013 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships in July.

Mickle’s coach Grant Ward added to his Athletics Australia coach of the year gong when he was named KPMG coach of the year. Badminton stalwart Judith Cousins was acknowledged for her enormous contribution over more than 40 years in the sport in WA with the SRG Corporate Service to Sport award.