Abreast of rivals … Alicia Coutts powers through her heat of the 200m individual medley at the London Olympics. Photo: Steve Christo
ALICIA COUTTS has again been named Australia's swimmer of the year after she won five medals at the London Olympic Games.
Coutts's performances in London were one of the few highlights for the Australian team, which has been going through an extended period of reflection and investigation following the disappointing results that left it with only one gold and its lowest medal haul since the 1992 Barcelona Games.
But the Canberra-based 25-year-old was the standout for the Australians, winning gold as a member of the women's 4x100 metres freestyle relay team, silver in the 200m individual medley, 4x100m medley and 4x200m freestyle relays, and bronze in the 100m butterfly.
Australian swimmers on the red carpet
Australia's swimming elite gather for the 2012 Swimmer of the Year awards at the Melbourne Museum. Photo: Getty Images
Coutts beat her 4x100m freestyle teammates Cate Campbell, Brittany Elmslie and Melanie Schlanger, who also finished fourth in the 100m freestyle final, for the award. She also won the award in 2010 when she returned from the Delhi Commonwealth Games with five gold medals.
She now joins Ian Thorpe (five), Kieren Perkins (three), Susan O'Neill (two), Michael Klim (two) and Grant Hackett (two) as multiple winners of the top award. In other awards, Jacqueline Freney, who won eight gold medals at the Paralympic Games, was named the multi-class swimmer of the year, while Matt Cowdrey, who became Australia's most successful Paralympian in London, was crowned the swimmers' swimmer. Melissa Gorman was recognised as the open-water swimmer of the year. Coutts's coach John Fowlie and Michael Freney, who coaches his daughter Jacqueline, were named coach and multi-class coach of the year while Elmslie was declared the discovery of the year.