22 Dec 2009

Mahe Drysdale wins NZOC's Lonsdale Cup for first time

4:54 pm on 22 December 2009

The New Zealand Olympic Committee has awarded the four-time single scull world champion and Beijing medallist Mahe Drysdale the Lonsdale Cup for this year.

The NZOC's top awar goes to the athlete who has made the most outstanding contribution to an Olympic or Commonwealth Sport each year.

Drysdale was selected after an undefeated year that included two rowing World Cup titles and his fourth world title in Poland.

He was also named world male rower of the year and says getting the Cup for the first time is the culmination of a fantastic year and a great way to start the new Olympic cycle.

Rowing has a strong history of Lonsdale Cup winners, with Rob Waddell winning in 1998 and 2000, the full squad in 2005 and the Caroline and Georgina Evers-Swindell last year.

Other winners since 1961 include Olympic gold medlaists Murray Halberg, Peter Snell, John Walker Danyon Loader and Valerie Vili.