2016 SASI Award Winners

20 Nov 2016

Champion athletes Anna Meares and Kyle Chalmers took the major honours at the 2016 South Australian Sports Institute (SASI) annual awards presentation at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

Chalmers was named Male Athlete of the Year. The 18-year-old swimmer captured the attention of the sporting world when he produced a stunning race to win gold in the 100m freestyle at the Rio Olympic Games, the first Australian to win that event since Michael Wenden in 1968.

Facing a strong line-up in the Olympic final after qualifying fourth fastest in the heats, Chalmers produced a strong second end of the race to come from seventh at the half-way mark to win gold.

He also played a major part in the team's bronze medal results in the 4X100 freestyle and 4X100 medley relays.

Meares, 33, was named Female Athlete of the Year. She bowed out of international cycling on a high at the Rio Olympics. Given the honour of carrying the flag and leading the Australian team into the arena for the opening ceremony, Meares gave everything to win bronze in the Keirin. That saw her finish her career with a sixth medal in Olympic competition, becoming the first Australian athlete to win a medal at four Olympic Games.

Brayden Davidson won his second consecutive Athlete of the Year with a Disability with an inspiring effort in the T36 long jump at the Rio Paralympic Games, winning gold on countback. Earlier Davidson set a Paralympic record of 5.62m with his first jump which was then matched by Rodrigo Parreira Da Silva of Brazil. But Davidson performed well under pressure to storm to the gold.

Chloe Moran and Kurtis Marschall won the respective Junior Female and Male Athletes of the Year awards. Cyclist Moran excelled in under-19 international events in road races, finishing her year with gold at the Under-19 road championships in the criterium event and a bronze medal in her first overseas event - the 90km kermesse in Belgium

Pole-vaulter Marschall cleared 5.7m to book his place at the Rio Olympic Games. He cleared 5.6m in the opening rounds to qualify 15th - narrowly missing the 12-man final on a countback.

Jared Tallent, captain of the Australian athletics team at the Rio Olympics, won the Amy Gillett-Safe Memorial Award. He won silver in the 50km walk to make him the most successful Australian male track and field athlete in Olympic history with one gold, two silver and a bronze medal across three consecutive Olympic Games.

Peter Bishop was named Coach of the Year. Bishop has been one of the top swimming coaches in recent years, overseeing SA swimmers with potential for high performance or who have realised elite standards in the sport. Bishop (and Shelly Jarrett) coached Olympic gold medallist Chalmers, while Bishop also guided Olympic medallist Hayden Stoeckel and Australia's greatest Paralympian Matthew Cowdrey.

SASI also acknowledged its individual Program Sportsperson of the Year.

Major award winners:

Female Athlete of the Year: Anna Meares
Male Athlete of the Year: Kyle Chalmers
Junior Female Athlete of the Year: Chloe Moran
Junior Male Athlete of the Year: Kurtis Marschall
Athlete of the Year with a Disability: Brayden Davidson
Coach of the Year: Peter Bishop
Amy Gillett-Safe Memorial Award: Jared Tallent

Program Sportsperson of the Year:

Canoe Sprint: Callum Dunn
Cycling: Callum Scotson
Diving: Grant Nel
Hockey: Cameron White
Netball: Emily Burgess
Rowing: James McRae
Swimming: Kyle Chalmers
Beach Volleyball: Zachery Schubert