Outstanding performances put our athletes up with the best
2018 produced some outstanding performances from sportsmen and women on both sides of the border. Here are a few:
The evergreen Burleigh striker enjoyed another fruitful season on the football pitch with 27 goals in 19 games. He joined Broadbeach midfielder Shaun Robinson as joint winners of the Tony Cecco Medal as Player of the Year at Football Gold Coast’s annual presentation night.
One shining light in Aussie rugby is the emergence of flyhalf Stewart, whose Bond Uni club barely saw him as he ingrained himself in the Reds. Known for his big kicking game, Stewart even got the chance to spend time training with the Wallabies.
Titans skipper James led from the front with tireless effort in another testing NRL season.
It did not go unnoticed, with the former Bilambil Jet/tweed Heads Seagulls player coming within a whisker of a State of Origin debut for NSW and then cleaning up in end-of-season awards.
The 19-year-old showed she was not to be messed with when she beat Olympic medallist Emma Mckeon in the 200m butterfly to claim a Commonwealth Games spot. Taylor claimed a silver medal, before switching to the ocean and snaring a gold at the Australian Surf life Saving Championships in Perth.
Politoni could not have done much more to help Burleigh’s dreams of a second Intrust Super Cup title in three years. On a weekly basis, the tough-as-nails rake would get through a mountain of work. He was again named the ISC’S premier hooker and was selected for the Queensland Residents rep side.
A seventh world surfing title – what else is there to say about the 30-year-old sensation?
The Tweed Coaster (pictured) matched Layne Beachley’s seemingly unbeatable milestone of seven crowns thanks to the early demise of rival Lakey Peterson at the Maui Pro last month. Title No.8 is now within sight.
At just 19, Kay has become one of Australia’s biggest golfing hopes. Among other achievements, helping break down the gender divide and lining up against the men – and beating a quite a few – in October’s Queensland Open was perhaps the highlight.
The 18-year-old halfback captained Palm Beach Currumbin to their first national schoolboy title in a decade and was rewarded with the Peter Sterling Medal previously awarded to Ben Elias and Ryan James. He holds a Broncos contract.
Just years after giving cricket away to play AFLW, the Dolphins allrounder, 29, played her way back into the Australian team – and collected a World T20 title.
The 23-year-old sister of Kiwi winger Jordan Rapana played for Queensland in the inaugural women’s Origin match, lined up for the Roosters in their NRLW grand final loss to Brisbane and helped Burleigh to another state women’s premiership.
Jockey Plumb is the man all Gold Coast trainers want to ride their horses. Plumb won the Gold Coast jockeys premiership for the 2017-18 season, riding 47 winners at Aquis Park and 66 overall. The 29-year-old is on track to defend his title, leading for 2018-19 with 15 wins on the Gold Coast.
Bowls columnist Wilkie finished his lawn bowling career on a high claiming a silver at the Commonwealth Games. He finished the year by being named the best international bowler by Bowling Australia.
Adding to our gold medal tally at the Commonwealth Games was cyclist Garfoot, 37, who claimed top spot in the women’s individual time trial. She claimed her third consecutive time trial national title earlier in the year and retired after the Games.
The 24-year-old diver claimed gold at the Commonwealth Games in the men’s 10m platform, only the fifth Australian to take the title. Bedggood finished 2018 with a gold at the FINA Diving Grand Prix in the 3m mixed synchronised.