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Sally: Australia's best

Posted by: Staff writers | 7 December, 2012 - 1:15 PM
Sally Pearson.

4BC Sports Today: Sally Pearson joined her two fellow London Olympic medallists in a sweep of the three major prizes at Athletics Australia's annual awards night.

And in a nod to the future, the competitor who made the biggest strides forward at the 2012 Games - surprise 400m finalist Steve Solomon - was also honoured by AA as junior athlete of the year.

Pearson was named Australia's best female athlete for the third time after another stellar year, capped by her victory in the 100m hurdles in London.

It was one of several honours bestowed recently on the reigning Olympic and world champ.

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"At the end of the day it is a really nice thought that not just your sporting organisation is looking out for you as an outstanding athlete, it is the whole of Australia as well and the different sporting organisations are taking notice of what you have done," said the 26-year-old Pearson.

Pearson's long-time mentor coach Sharon Hannan was named senior coach of the year at the function at Crown Palladium in Melbourne.

Mitchell Watt had been expected to join Pearson atop the winners' dais in London, but he had to settle for silver behind Greg Rutherford, who took advantage of a passionate home crowd to win the long jump.

Watt's efforts were still rewarded as he claimed AA's male athlete of the year award for the first time.

Walker Jared Tallent, who was second in the 50km race in London, was voted the Flame athlete of the year.

Although Pearson, Watt and Tallent were all flagged as likely London medallists in the lead-up to the Games, Solomon's efforts were also worthy of the highest praise.

After being a late inclusion in the individual 400m, the 19-year-old from Sydney clocked the three fastest times of his life, including a PB of 44.97 seconds in the semi-final.

Solomon's coach Fira Dvoskina earned junior coach of the year honours and her daughter Iryna Dvoskina was voted AWD coach of the year for her work with Evan O'Hanlon.

O'Hanlon (gold in the T38 100m and 200m at the London Paralympics) and Kelly Cartwright (silver in the T42 100m and gold in the long jump) were named athletes with a disability of the year.

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