CYCLIST ATHERTON CROWNED 2016 BT SPORT ACTION WOMAN OF THE YEAR
Cyclist and downhill mountain biking expert Rachel Atherton has capped off a record breaking season by once again winning the prestigious BT Sport Action Woman of the Year Award.
Team GB hockey team also took home an award for Team of The Year, following their outstanding gold medal at Rio 2016.
Katherine Grainger picked up the Lifetime Achievement Award for her unrivalled success in rowing, in a career that has spanned over 18 years.
The award, now in its fourth year, saw over 39,000 votes cast and recognises the ten most outstanding sporting achievements by female athletes over the past 12 months.
BT Sport’s Gary Lineker was on hand to present Rachel Atherton with her trophy at the awards ceremony, hosted by Clare Balding, live on BT Sport this evening.
Atherton beat stiff competition from Charlotte Dujardin OBE and Laura Kenny OBE – who finished in second and third place respectively – to be crowned the winner following an extraordinary year, becoming World Downhill Cycling Champion in an unbeaten World Cup Series, making it a record breaking 13 successive World Cup victories, a feat never achieved before in the sport.
Other nominees included: Nicola Adams, Hannah Cockroft, Kadeena Cox, Maddie Hinch, Jade Jones, Johanna Konta and Dame Sarah Storey.
This year also saw BT Sport introduce two additional categories including the Team of The Year and Lifetime Achievement awards.
BT Sport’s Team of the Year, presented by Steven Gerrard, was awarded to Team GB’s hockey team, who came home from Rio 2016 with a gold medal, following the heroics of goalkeeper, Maddie Hinch, who saved four penalties in the final versus the Netherlands.
The BT Sport Lifetime Achievement award, presented by two-time Olympian Anna Watkins, was handed to Katherine Grainger. Grainger, who won gold at London 2012 in the double sculls alongside Watkins, is one of the most decorated female athletes in rowing, with 14 medals to her name across Olympic, World and European Championships.
BT Sport presenter Clare Balding said: “We are proud to celebrate and recognise the efforts of these incredible women and their achievements in 2016. Rachel Atherton’s phenomenal skills, desire and total domination of downhill mountain biking make her a fully deserved winner. The GB Hockey team’s Gold in Rio was truly one of the year’s highlights, and it’s fantastic to recognise the inspirational Katherine Grainger and her sporting success over the past two decades.BT Sport is committed to celebrating the success of female athletes and our shortlist this year proves that female sport continues to grow.”
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