Five-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist Alicia Coutts has capped off a remarkable year by winning the 2010 Australian swimmer of the year award.
And Geoff Huegill’s sporting renaissance hit another high, named swimmers’ swimmer of the year at the sport’s national awards ceremony in Melbourne on Monday night.
Huegill retired in 2006 but shed 45kg and returned to clinch a gold medal in the 100m butterfly at the Delhi Games, in a career best time.
The 31-year-old was also awarded the Speedo Golden Moment and Telstra People’s Choice award, voted for by more than 8,000 fans.
Queenslander Coutts won gold in the 200m individual medley, 100m butterfly, 100m freestyle and 4x100m medley and freestyle relays at the Commonwealth Games last month.
The 22-year-old was a clear winner of the major award based on her outstanding individual performances.
Coutts will continue to train at the AIS under her coach John Fowlie, who was named coach of the year, in the lead-up to next year’s world championships in Shanghai and the London Olympics in 2012.
In other awards presented on the night world championship bronze medallist Melissa Gorman was named the open water swimmer of the year, six-time IPC gold medallist Peter Leek the multi-class swimmer of the year, and Leisel Jones the short course swimmer of the year.
The award for the discovery of the year went to Gold Coast teenager Katie Goldman for her performance in winning silver and bronze at the Pan Pacific Championships in the 400 and 800m freestyle, while Blair Evans won the Australian unity club leadership award.