By Stephen J. Thomas
MELBOURNE, Australia. November 30. TRIPLE Olympic gold medalist and 100m freestyle world record-holder Jodie Henry became only the third Aussie woman to be awarded the title of Australian Swimmer of the Year, following in the slipstream of Susan O’Neill and Hayley Lewis in the 90's.
The 21-year-old Queenslander whose three gold all came in world record time (100 free, 400 free relay, 400 medley relay) edged out sentimental choice, triple Olympian Petria Thomas – also with three gold (100 fly, 400 free relay, 400 medley relay) and a silver (200 fly), Ian Thorpe – two gold (200 and 400 free), one silver (800 free relay) and a bronze (100 free) and the People’s Choice winner, Grant Hackett – one gold (1500 free) and two silver (400 free and 800 freestyle relay). Thorpe had dominated the award for the previous five years, including a joint win with Hackett last year.
Shannon Rollason, the coach of Henry and Alice Mills, was named Coach of the Year.
Other award winners:
Ian Thorpe: Men's freestyle sprinter and middle-distance award
Grant Hackett: Men's distance award
Petria Thomas and Brett Hawke: The swimmers' swimmer award
Leisel Jones: Women's breaststroke
Petria Thomas: Women's butterfly
Brooke Hanson: Female short course swimmer of the year
Matt Welsh: Men's short course and men's backstroke
Jim Piper: Men's breaststroke
Giaan Rooney: Women's backstroke
Adam Lucas: Australian Sports Commission male discovery of the year
Lara Carroll: ASC female discovery of the year, Women's IM
Travis Nederpelt: Men's IM
Danni Miatke; Women's youth
Leith Brodie: Men's youth
Linda MacKenzie: Women's middle distance
Sarah Paton: Women's distance
Geoff Huegill: Men's butterfly
Bernie Mulroy: Age group coach
Matthew Cowdrey: A 15-year-old who won two gold, two silver and two bronze medals at the Athens Paralympics, won the swimmer-with-a-disability award.
Peter Bishop: Swimmer with a disability coach
Women's 4×100 medley team: Golden Moment award for its Olympic win