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Swimmers honoured in Halberg Awards

Auckland 14 year old Gabrielle Fa’amausili has capped of an outstanding 2013 year when she was awarded the Emerging Talent of the Year at the Halberg Awards.

Gabrielle earned the award after winning the junior world championship in the 50m backstroke at Dubai last year. During the heats she topped qualifiers and set a new championship best time of 28.14s, despite being just 13 and one of the youngest in the field.

She also won the 50m freestyle open title at the State New Zealand Championships 25m in October, ahead of London Olympic sprinter Hayley Palmer, setting a new national age group title in the process.

Congratulations to Sophie Pascoe, her third win in a row as Disabled Sportsperson of the Year. Sophie enjoyed another incredible year in 2013 with five gold medals at the world championships and nine world records as well. Pascoe piped Mary Fisher for the award with the Wellington Paralympian also recognised as one of 4 finalists.

Also congratulations to Lauren Boyle who was a finalist in the Sportswoman of the Year award. The three time world championship medallist was a fitting finalist in esteemed company including world champions Lisa Carrington and Valerie Adams and the quite remarkable teenage golfer Lydia Ko, who won the award.

Lauren was the first swimmer to be selected as a finalist since Moss Burmester in 2006.

She celebrated a brilliant 2013 season with three bronze medals at the FINA World Swimming Championship, equalling the three medals won by Danyon Loader.

Lauren finished the year ranked sixth in the world over 400m freestyle, third over 800m free and 1500m free. Over short course she is ranked eighth in the 400m freestyle and second over 800m freestyle.