Former world champion triathlete Emma Moffatt tops the list of the Coffs Coast's best sporting stars of the past decade.
Former world champion triathlete Emma Moffatt tops the list of the Coffs Coast's best sporting stars of the past decade. FILE

Moffatt tops the list of Coffs Coast's best sporting stars

WHEN asked to narrow a list of the best sports stars the Coffs Coast has produced down to a top 10, it was a difficult task.

Naming who should sit at the top of that list was much easier.

When it comes to locals who have consistently performed at a high level on the world stage, nobody can match Emma Moffatt.

Many thought the triathlete burst on to the world stage in 2008 when she claimed an Olympic bronze medal in Beijing.

Not so.

The year before the Beijing games, the now 28 year old was named as Triathlon Australia's Athelete of the Year.

But it's not just a bronze medal that saw the Woolgoolga product selected as my number one.

She used the Olympic achievement to catapult her onto bigger and better things winning the ITU Triathlon World Championships in both 2009 and 2010.

Wins in Washington, Kitzbuhel, Hamburg (twice) and her now home town of the Gold Coast made Moffatt an athlete known and respected worldwide.

Last year Moffatt was selected for her second Olympics and was in form in the lead-up winning the Sprint Triathlon Premium Oceania Cup in Geelong.

Unfortunately a slippery piece of London road undid Moffatt's dreams of another Olympic medal.

In the lead pack during the bike leg, the local girl was unable to finish the race after a fall from her bike. And the best thing about Moffatt as far as I'm concerned is she still considers herself a local.

"Whenever people ask me where I always have pleasure in saying I'm from Woolgoolga," Moffatt said yesterday when told she was the number one choice.

"People ask me to say again it ask how to spell it but mum and dad are still there and I love getting home as much as I can which unfortunately isn't that often."

While thrilled with the honour the Advocate has bestowed upon her, Moffatt isn't resting on her laurels.

Tomorrow she starts a new season racing in Mooloolaba before traversing the globe again.

"I'm going to be doing the World Series this year and chasing another title," she said.

On an aside, when a sports editor is placed in such a position as creating 'best of' lists, it's a no-win situation.

It's a conversation and argument starter but no matter who you choose there will be plenty of people to let you know you've got it wrong. In the case of Emma Moffatt I don't think there'll be too many disagree.

No doubt some will argue the other members of the top-10 list should be given top billing in my list (some have already pointed out there's glaring omissions even from the top-10 list) but I'm comfortable with my choice and hopefully a gold medal for Moffatt at next year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow will cement her place at the top of this list.

I'm also very happy with my selections of Courtney Hancock, Greg Inglis, Alexandra Croak and Phil Hughes to round out the top five.

Recognition should also be given to Harley Ingleby, Cassie Scully, Ben Newton, Takeover Target and Zac Purton who were in the top 10.

The Coffs Coast should be proud of the champions it's produced.



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