Ashlee Ankudinoff has capped a remarkable year after being crowned the female athlete of the year at the annual NSW Institute of Sport Awards.
Ankudinoff, of Menai, won a world title in Paris in February as a member of Australia’s women’s team pursuit quartet.
The St George Cycling Club rider made a stunning return to form in what has been a five-year wait between world titles.
Ankudinoff was acknowledged at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday night and said she was lost for words.
‘‘The other nominees have all had plenty of success but personally I couldn't have asked for a better year,’’ she said.
‘‘To be crowned Australian champion, Oceania champion and world champion and then to receive this award it tops off a great year after all the hard work I have put in.
‘‘I have a lot to thank NSWIS and my coach Brad McGee for over the last year and a half.
‘‘I wasn't in the top four or in the Australian team this time last year, so without their support I definitely wouldn't be standing here with this award as a world champion.’’
Joining the 25-year-old in the winner’s circle was Paralympic rowing silver medallist Erik Horrie (male athlete of the year), inspirational swimmer Maddi Elliot (regional athlete of the year) and Matthew Wilson (junior athlete of the year).
McGee claimed the NSWIS coach of the year while the cycling program took out the program of the year.