Tasmanian Athlete of the Year finalists named

Race face: Richie Porte's heroics across Europe's biggest cycle races have seen him named among the finalists for the Tasmanian Athlete of the Year. Picture: AP
Race face: Richie Porte's heroics across Europe's biggest cycle races have seen him named among the finalists for the Tasmanian Athlete of the Year. Picture: AP

Launceston’s Richie Porte, Ariarne Titmus and Rebecca Van Asch are among the finalists vying for this year’s Tasmanian Athlete of the Year.

Six finalists were announced by Premier Will Hodgman with five different sports represented.

Cycling claimed two nominations with Porte, who won the Tour Down Under and Tour de Romandie as well as stages in Paris-Nice and Criterium du Dauphine, joined by track specialist Amy Cure.

The West Pine dual Olympian claimed three medals at the world championships becoming the first Australian to win medals in six different track events.

Titmus had a breakout year in the pool, twice finishing fourth in world championship distance freestyle events and anchoring Australia to a bronze medal in the 4x200m relay.

Van Asch became the first Tasmanian to win an Australian indoor bowls championship and added world titles in the triples and fours making her a three-time world champion.

Huon’s Sarah Hawe and her Australian coxless four crew went through the year undefeated, claiming two world cups and a world championship in a class which will return to the Olympic program in 2020.

Building on his silver medal performance from the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Forth’s Deon Kenzie added gold and silver medals from the para world championships in the T38 1500 and 800 metres.

The athlete of the year will be announced at Bellerive Oval on November 29.

“Tasmania has a strong record of producing great athletes and we’re especially proud of those who represent our state,” Mr Hodgman said.