World Rowing announces 2014 Award winners
New Zealand has dominated the athlete categories of the 2014 World Rowing Awards while an Australian has won the Para-rowing award, Denmark the coaching award and Switzerland's Denis Oswald has been honoured for his service to rowing.
New Zealand's Hamish Bond and Eric Murray have won the World Rowing Crew of the Year award for the second successive year as they continue their unbeaten streak. Becoming World Champion in the women's single sculls following a perfect season, helped earn New Zealand's Emma Twigg the title of 2014 Female Rower of the Year. Denmark's Bent Fransson is the World Rowing Coach of the Year after guiding the Danish lightweight men's four to another World Championship gold medal and former FISA President Denis Oswald is the recipient of the Distinguished Service to Rowing award. Australia's Erik Horrie is the Para-rower of the Year.
2014 World Rowing Male Crew of the Year: Hamish Bond & Eric Murray, New Zealand, men's pair & men's coxed pair
The list of accomplishments of Hamish Bond and Eric Murray keeps getting longer. This is the third time the duo has won this award and this year it comes after another world-beating season which culminated in two gold medals and a new World Best Time at the World Rowing Championships. Bond and Murray took their fifth consecutive World Championship title in the men's pair and doubled up to win the men's coxed pair in a new World Best Time.
Bond and Murray have been together since 2009 and they have not lost a race since. Last year they set a record for the most consecutive wins in the history of rowing and this year they have again rewritten the record books as they continue to set new standards in rowing.
2014 World Rowing Female Rower of the Year: Emma Twigg, New Zealand, women's single sculls
Emma Twigg started the 2014 season just as she intended to finish it. She beat Kim Crow to the line at the first World Rowing Cup in Sydney, Australia and then took two more World Rowing Cup golds before underlining that she was indeed the fastest woman single sculler in the world by becoming the World Champion. This was Twigg's first senior World Championship title following an international career that has stretched over a decade and included junior and under-23 gold medals in the single.
2014 World Rowing Coach of the Year: Bent Fransson, Denmark
Denmark's dominating lightweight men's four has been coached by Bent Fransson for the past seven years. Under Fransson's guidance the crew won gold at the 2008 Olympic Games and bronze in 2012. Since then, despite the retirement of the famed Eskild Ebbesen, the crew has won gold at both the 2013 and 2014 World Rowing Championships and European Rowing Championships.
2014 World Rowing Distinguished Service to Rowing: Denis Oswald, Switzerland
Denis Oswald was Secretary General of FISA for 11 years and President of FISA for 25 years before retiring earlier this year. During his presidency, the number of FISA member national federations grew from 67 to 142, lightweight rowing was added to the Olympic Games programme and Para-rowing became part of the Paralympic Games programme. Oswald also held leading positions in the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
As an athlete Oswald participated in three Olympic Games and won a medal at the 1968 Olympic Games. He also won at the Henley Royal Regatta and gained a number of Swiss national titles.
2014 World Rowing Para Rower of the Year: Erik Horrie, Australia, AS men's single sculls
After switching from wheelchair basketball to rowing in 2011, Erik Horrie found almost instant success. In that first year he took bronze, then followed it up with a silver medal at the 2012 Paralympic Games. In 2013 Horrie won his first World Championship title and he successfully defended it this year at the World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
The award winners will be presented with their awards on 8 November 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil at the 2014 World Rowing Coaches Conference gala dinner.
For the full article on the finalists, click here.
For more information on the World Rowing Awards, click here.