Pearson and Seebohm finalists for ‘The Don’

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Commonwealth Games stars Sally Pearson and Emily Seebohm are among seven of Australia’s finest athletes to be nominated for the nation’s most coveted sports award, ‘The Don’, at the annual Sport Australia Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Gala Dinner next month.

Nominated for her remarkable comeback from a potential career-ending injury to win a world title, Pearson knows the true meaning of the award having been recipient of it twice before (2013 and 2015).

Seebohm’s nomination comes after recovering from an illness that almost convinced her to retire to win Australia’s only gold medal and retain her 200m backstroke title at the world swimming championships in Budapest in July.

Named in honour of Australia’s late sporting hero, Sir Donald Bradman AC, The Don Award will be presented at the sold out 33rd Awards Gala Dinner on Thursday 12th October at Palladium at Crown, Melbourne.

THE DON AWARD

2017 FINALISTS

Athlete Sport Achievements
 

Jeff Horn

 

Boxing

Jeff Horn took the WBO welterweight world title in July in a unanimous points decision over a legend of the sport, Manny Pacquiao, in what many consider to be one of the best‐ever wins by any Australian boxer. Horn’s modest demeanour in the lead‐up was equalled by his dignified response following his win, which captured the attention of sports fans world-wide.
 

The Matildas

 

 

Football

The Matildas produced one of their most significant achievements when they demolished Brazil 6-1 to win the Tournament of Nations in August. Undefeated, the Matildas winning run through the round‐robin tournament included an historic defeat of world champions United States and local rival Japan. The Matildas only needed a draw to win the tournament against Brazil, but did it in style.
 

Sally Pearson OAM

 

 

Athletics

 

Twice a winner of The Don (2013 and 2015) Sally Pearson produced a remarkable comeback from a career threatening wrist injury to win her second world 100m hurdles title at the world athletics championships in London in August. Competing in her first major championship since 2015 after missing the defence of her Olympic title in Rio, the 30-year-old coached herself and produced a spectacular display of hurdling to claim her second world title.
 

Erin Phillips

 

 

AFLW

Olympic basketballer Erin Phillips turned her hand to a new sport and proceeded to dominate the inaugural season of AFL women’s football. Co-captaining Adelaide to the first AFLW premiership her accolades include the league best and fairest, best afield in the grand final, the players’ most valuable player, goal of the year, Vice-Captain of the all‐Australian team and the players’ association MVP.
 

 

Emily Seebohm OAM

 

 

Swimming

2015 The Don Award finalist Emily Seebohm recovered from illness that almost convinced her to retire to win Australia’s only gold medal and retain her 200m backstroke title at the world swimming championships in Budapest in July. After struggling in 2016 at the Rio Olympics only to be diagnosed with endometriosis just months later, Seebohm returned to the top in 2017.
 

Johnathan Thurston

 

Rugby League

Rugby League star and 2016 The Don Award finalist Johnathan Thurston once again had Australians on the edge of their seats, this time at the 2017 State of Origin. After missing the opening match in the series, Thurston returned only to suffer a serious season ending shoulder injury early in the game but played on, nailing a crucial and difficult conversion late in the match to keep Queensland’s series alive.
 

Tyler Wright

 

Surfing

Tyler Wright became the latest in a long line of Australian surfing champions when she won the 2016 women’s world championship with a record score.  Wright almost retired in 2015 after her brother Owen suffered a serious head injury during a competition warm‐up in Hawaii. Tyler became his primary carer, but returned to the world series in 2016 to take out her maiden world title.

 

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