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Rio stars dominate Don award nominations

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Rio Olympic and Paralympic stars feature prominently among nominations for the major award at the Sport Australia Hall Of Fame annual dinner.

There are eight nominees for the Don award, which will be announced at Thursday night's black tie function in Melbourne.

They include Olympic gold medallists Kim Brennan (rowing), Kyle Chalmers (swimming) and the women's rugby sevens team.

Cycling great Anna Meares also won a record sixth Olympic medal in Rio, while Paralympic gold medallists Dylan Alcott (wheelchair tennis) and Curtis McCrath (para-canoe) are also in contention.

Melbourne Cup winning jockey Michelle Payne and rugby league star Johnathon Thurston are the non-Rio contenders.

The Don winner is judged to have inspired Australians most with sporting achievements in the last 12 months.

Another major announcement at Thursday's function will be the elevation of one hall of fame member to legend status.

There will be eight inductees this year to the hall of fame, bringing the number to 541, and Thursday night's elevation will mean 38 legends.

Four-time Olympic swimming gold medallist Libby Trickett is the last hall of fame inductee to be announced before Thursday's function.

She joins Emma Carney (triathlon), Malcolm Page (sailing), Sharelle McMahon (netball), Kristy Ellis (surf ironwoman), Jack Newton (golf), Bob Ellicott QC (sports administration) and Harry Wells (rugby league).

Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge has won the spirit of sport award for giving his AFL premiership medallion to injured captain Bob Murphy.

Beveridge is overseas and his wife Dana will accept the award.

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