Adlington scoops 2008 sport award

on December 2, 2008 by Administrator

Rebecca Adlington’s year just gets better and better as the double Olympic gold medallist was named Sportswoman of the Year 2008 at the Sports Journalists’ Association (SJA) Sports Awards which were held in London last Wednesday 26th November.

The SJA Sports Awards are in their 60th year but the Sportswoman of the Year award was only introduced in 1959 making Adlington the 50th recipient of the accolade. In 2008 we have seen a strong year for British women’s sporting achievements with Adlington triumphing over another remarkable performer, Nicole Cooke, the first cyclist to win the World Championship and Olympic road race titles in the same season, and Christine Ohuruogu, Britain’s sole athletics gold medallist at the Beijing Olympics.

Prior to her Olympic successes, Adlington was hardly known outside the swimming community but has now become a household name, much loved for her down-to-earth manner and sheer enthusiasm for her sport.

The 19 year old from Mansfield followed a gold medal winning performance in the 400m freestyle event by smashing the world record in the 800m freestyle race which had stood since the year of her birth to take her second gold medal. In doing so, Adlington became the first British swimmer to come away from the pool with two Olympic gold medals in a hundred years.

Adlington is the first swimmer to win the SJA Sportswoman of the Year award since 1980 when Sharon Davies took the honour. Anita Lonsborough and Linda Ludgrove are the only other swimmers to have taken the award in its 50 year history.

Fellow multi-Olympic gold medallist, cyclist Chris Hoy, took the Sportsman of the Year award paving the way for an interesting climax to the 2008 awards season as the two go head to head for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award which is soon to take place in Liverpool.

However, with two weeks to go until the results of the public vote are announced, Adlington is the bookmakers’ second favourite to win, with Formula 1 star Lewis Hamilton tipped to gazump the two Olympic heroes and take the award thanks to his last gasp World Championship victory. Win or lose in Liverpool on December 14th, Rebecca Adlington’s heroics in the pool have done her nation proud in 2008.

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