Meyer made a stunning return to track cycling at this year’s World Championships in Hong Kong, coming away with three medals. He was part of the gold medal winning Australian team pursuit squad and backed that up to win an eighth career rainbow jersey in the points race. The 29 year-old then partnered Callum Scotson to finish second in the Madison, which will again be an Olympic event in Tokyo in 2020.
Six WAIS athletes had previously won the award twice, but Meyer – in adding to titles he’d received in 2010 and 2012 – created new history at WAIS by becoming the first athlete to win it a third time.
Meyer said he was pleased with the results he had posted this year and hoped they would spur him on to further success in 2018.
"It’s a huge honour to receive the WAIS Athlete of the Year for the third time, I’m extremely honoured and it’s been a big season and I’m really happy with the results that I’ve had and I’m really looking forward to what’s to come next year with the Commonwealth Games and to receive an Award like this just tops off a fantastic season,” he said.
"I couldn’t have done it without the support of WAIS, they’re huge in supporting me every time I come back to Perth. I’ve got all of the facilities I need, I’ve got the right support network around me and it really helps towards achieving the goals that I really want to do.”
"A big thank you to Clay Worthington, the WAIS Head Coach. He’s there by my side, he’s always there to pick up the phone when I need it and his support is truly valuable and to all the other support staff that work in the cycling program and WAIS in general. It’s one of the best institutes – I believe – in Australia and I just couldn’t do it without them,” Meyer added.
Meyer received the award from a strong field of 10 nominees:
- Sarah Edmiston* (ATHLETICS)
- Emily Little (GYMNASTICS)
- Brianna Throssell (SWIMMING)
- Sally Pilbeam (TRIATHLON)
- Aaron Younger (WATER POLO)
*Denotes award finalist
The Junior Athlete of the Year title was won by rowers Annabella McIntyre and Bronwyn Cox after their debut campaign at U23 World Championship level, where they returned a silver medal in the Olympic-class women’s pair.
Eight nominations made up the award shortlist:
- Matt Richardson (CYCLING)
- Annabelle McIntyre and Bronwyn Cox* (ROWING)
- Nia Jerwood and Monique De Vries* (SAILING)
- Jemima Horwood* (SWIMMING)
*Denotes award finalist
Paul Oberman received the WAIS Coach of the Year award following a successful campaign that saw him assist six athletes onto the senior Australian team for the World Championships, with another five athletes chosen on the Junior Australian World Championship team.
Oberman himself, was an assistant coach with the Australian senior team as they achieved their best result (seventh) at World Championship level since 2003.
The Challenge High Performance Training Centre – Swimming was selected as the WAIS Program of the Year, following a season that saw Zac Incerti make his senior World Championship debut and Brianna Throssell return home from Budapest with a medal in the medley relay.
Jemima Horwood also earned representative honours over the course of the year, picking up a relay medal at the Junior World Championships in the USA.