Four-time Olympic champion Laura Kenny admits she was blown away after being crowned Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year.
The 24-year-old track cyclist won team pursuit and omnium gold in Rio this summer to add to the same two titles she took at London 2012, to become Team GB’s most successful female athlete of all time.
She beat 14-time Paralympic gold medallist Dame Sarah Storey and double Olympic champion Jade Jones to the Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year crown on Thursday night, receiving her award from 2015 winner Jessica Ennis-Hill.
And Kenny, who married fellow cyclist Jason Kenny in September, admits she still has to pinch herself at the levels of her success.
“Just to even be in the same room as some of those people seems surreal, let alone to come away with the same trophy as them,” she said.
“As a kid, you grow up inspiring to be like those people, but not in a million years do you ever dream that it will come true.”
She added on Instagram: “Thank you so much for everybody’s support over the last year. I’m so honoured to be Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year.”
Double Olympic rowing champions Heather Stanning and Helen Glover were awarded the 2016 Olympians of the Year prize after successfully retaining their coxless pairs title in Rio.
Stanning said on Instagram: “Boom! Did not expect that in such a competitive year. Thank you and well done to Laura Kenny for winning Sportswoman of the Year.
“Too many amazing women in one room, just brilliant.”
Glover added: “Massively honoured to find out Heather and I won Olympians of the Year. Makes me feel very emotional.”
Elsewhere, Siobhan-Marie O’Connor was named Young Sportswoman of the Year, while Team GB’s women’s hockey team capped off a memorable year with yet another award to their collection, winning Vitality of the Team of the Year after being crowned Olympic champions in Rio.
Shona McCallin and Alex Danson were there to collect the award on behalf of the team, and McCallin said on Twitter: “What an honour to receive ‘Team of the Year’ in what has been a truly special year for British sport."