18 Dec

Sir Mo Farah Wins SPOTY

Sir Mo Farah SPOTY 2017

Last night, in a thrilling finale, Newham and Essex Beagles' most famous athlete was voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY). Sir Mo Farah looked genuinely shocked when the announcement was made in the Echo Arena, Liverpool and he becomes the first athlete to win since Dame Kelly Holmes in 2004 and Paula Radcliffe in 2002.

Sir Mo Farah was not present for the ceremony and the actual presentation suffered some gremlins as the live video link was lost just after his daughter, Rhianna, had handed him the trophy at St. Mary's University, Twickenham – where the track was named the Sir Mo Farah Athletics Track in his honour earlier this year.
 
SPOTY was created in 1954 and the main award is presented to: “the sportsperson whose actions have most captured the public's imagination”. Although there can be no better qualified winner, Farah was only an outside bet this year with fourth-placed boxer Anthony Joshua the bookies favourite. 
 
Sir Mo did manage to get a live response to the audience after the show went off air following some excellent padding by four-time Olympic champion Michael Johnson, who said: "It's well deserved. This year he came into his home championships, his last race on the track, and still delivered. Over the years he's dominated, he's out there by himself and always got the tactics right."
 
Sir Mo said: "It is pretty amazing and hard to think about. I didn't imagine I was ever going to win this but anything can happen. If you work hard you can achieve your dreams. I am sorry I could not be there. My kid has not been well. I just cannot believe I have won."
 
It was a great night for the wider sport of athletics as Paralympic sprinter and Strictly Come Dancing contestant Jonnie Peacock placed third behind triple World Superbike motorcycle champion Jonathan Rea. 
 
Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the tender age of 31 after winning three World Heptathlon titles and the London Olympic gold and Rio Olympic silver. 
 
Sprint coaches Benke Blomkvist, Stephen Maguire and Christian Malcolm jointly took the Coach of the Year Award after helping GB's men's 4x100m team to World Championship gold and 55-year-old volunteer Denise Larrad was named BBC Get Inspired Unsung Hero for her work with beginner running and walking groups, orienteering and fitness classes for all ages and abilities in Hinckley, Leicestershire. 
 
Full details via this link to BBC SPOTY 2017
 
Image courtesy British Athletics Press