The judges for the Cook Islands Sports Awards will have some tough decisions to make while choosing winners for the top individual and team awards.
Cook Islands Sports and National Olympic Committee yesterday released the nominees for 11 awards that will be presented at the event now postponed till further notice due to coronavirus outbreak.
The awards have been divided into three categories. Section A will feature Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year and Junior Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year.
Sports Team of the Year and Sports Achievement of the Year make up Section B while Section C will comprise technical awards including administrator and coach of the year.
The Sportsman of the Year will see some tough competition between four nominees – all of them achieving brilliant results last year.
Middle distance runner Alex Beddoes is one of the favourites after claiming two gold medals at last year’s Pacific Games in Samoa.
Swimmer Wesley Roberts also had a good outing at the regional games claiming Cook Islands’ first ever medal in swimming (gold) in men’s 200m freestyle event. Roberts also won silver medals in 400m and 1500m freestyle and bronze medal in 100m freestyle.
The other two nominees, Andre Tutaka-George (Canoe & Kayak) claimed two bronze medals at the Pacific Games and Brad Takairangi helped the Cook Islands qualify for the Rugby League World Cup 2021.
The battle for the Sportswoman of the Year award will be between Jane Nicholas (Canoe & Kayak), Matanoko Mcdonald (Weightlifting), Kirsten Fisher-Marsters (Swimming) and Luciana Nicholas (Netball).
Veteran netballer Luciana Nicholas is among the favourites after guiding theCook Islands to win first Pacific Games netball title in 28 years.
The prestigious Sports Team of the Year has received six nominations. They are Canoe & Kayak Cook Islands U14 K4 Canoe Sprint Team, Cook Islands AIMS Games Badminton Team 2019, Men’s 4x100m Relay Team, Men’s Lawn Bowls Team (Pacific Games 2019), Black Pearl (Netball) and Cook Islands Rugby League.
The Black Pearls and the Kukis are the favourites but other nominees are equally good after recording superb results last year.