Champion rower Eric Murray will be going for a five-peat of supreme awards after yesterday being announced as one of the Sportsman of the Year finalists for the Waikato Regional Sports Awards.
The 31-year-old has trumped that category in the past four events, while also each time going on to take out the top accolade.
It doesn't look like much will change this time around either, after Murray and his partner in the men's pair - Hamish Bond - collected gold at the world championships in South Korea in September.
The duo's win was a record-breaking 16th straight at Olympic, world championship and World Cup level, maintaining their remarkable unbeaten run since they came together in 2009.
Murray is joined in the Arrow International sportsman category by All Blacks blindside flanker Liam Messam, All Blacks Sevens star Tim Mikkelson, swimmer Matthew Stanley and triathlete Graham O'Grady.
In the Gallagher Group Sportswoman of the Year category, last year's winner, Laura Langman, hasn't made the shortlist.
Instead, track and field athlete Mariah Ririnui, mountain runner Helen Rountree, cricketer Natalie Dodd, football player Helen Collins and rugby/sevens/rugby league player Honey Hireme have made the cut.
The Chiefs will be odds on to back up their Wintec Team of the Year award following their second successive Super Rugby title.
The other finalists are the Midlands women's hockey team, the Waikato open and under-21 women's touch teams and the Waikato-Bay of Plenty under-23 netball team.
There are four other categories - the Livingstone Emerging Talent of the Year and the ifWaikato Timesnf Secondary School sportsman, sportswoman and team of the Year.
Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on Thursday, January 30 at the Claudelands Conference and Exhibition Centre.
Tickets are $75 each and can be purchased from Sport Waikato.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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