World cycling champion Cameron Meyer has joined exclusive company when he became the eleventh athlete to claim The West Australian-ANZ Sports Star of the Year award in successive years.
Meyer was announced the winner from a crack field of WA’s sporting elite, which included world champion gymnast Lauren Mitchell, at Crown Perth’s Grand Ballroom.
The 24-year-old Helena Valley cyclist backed up a remarkable 2011 by winning the prestigious Berlin Six Day race in February before claiming his sixth track cycling world title in April.
Meyer snared gold in the points race and took bronze in the madison alongside Leigh Howard.
Mitchell led a strong field of rivals after battling an abdominal strain and shoulder issues to produce an outstanding performance in the floor final at the London Olympics.
The 21-year-old finished fifth, falling an agonising 0.066 points short of becoming the first Australian to win an Olympic artistic gymnastics medal.
Her achievements were acknowledged when she was last night awarded the Winter-Strickland Medal as the most outstanding West Australian at the Olympics.
The other finalists in the Sports Star of the Year award were Olympic bronze medallists Gemma Beadsworth (water polo) and Fergus Kavanagh (hockey), fellow Olympians Ben Cureton and Todd Skipworth (rowing), Melissa Hoskins (cycling), wheelchair basketball Paralympian Shaun Norris, Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo, boxing champion Danny Green, Test batsman Mike Hussey and Wallabies legend Nathan Sharpe.
The Railtrain Junior Sports Star was won by 16-year-old golfing sensation Minjee Lee, while the Channel 7 Team of the Year was taken out by kayak duo Stephen Bird and Jesse Phillips.
Mitchell’s coaches, Nikolai Lapchine and Martine George, were named KPMG Coach of the Year, with Australian under-19 cricket captain Will Bosisto winning the 882 6PR Special Achievement Award.
Table Tennis Association of WA stalwart David Cooper (SRG Corporate Service to Sport Award) and swimming official Ryan Arblaster (Gibson and Gibson Lawyers Official of the Year) completed the list of winners.
Craig Nitschke, Sports Editor of The West Australian, praised the quality of the field of finalists.
“Cameron was a deserving winner in a quality field of 12 finalists because of his exploits on the international stage,” Nitschke said.
“He sits comfortably on the awards honour roll with the likes of Dennis Lillee and Margaret Court.”