Rutherford and Ennis-Hill top list of British award winners

Olympic champions Greg Rutherford and Jessica Ennis-Hill have seen their success at this summer’s World Championships recognised after scooping the top prizes at the Sports Journalists’ Association Sports Awards in London.

The duo were named as the Sportsman of the Year and Sportswoman of the Year respectively following their gold medal triumphs in Beijing.

Rutherford cemented his place in sporting history when he added to his Olympic, European and Commonwealth Games titles in China – in the process joining an elite group of British athletes, alongside Daley Thompson, Linford Christie, Sally Gunnell and Jonathan Edwards, to have ever held all four titles simultaneously.

Ennis-Hill meanwhile took the Sportswoman of the Year prize for a record-equalling fourth time ahead of cyclist Lizzie Armitstead and skeleton athlete Lizzy Yarnold after returning to injury and the birth of her son to clinch her second world title.

Team of the Year went to the Great Britain Davis Cup team, led by Andy Murray, after they secured the title for the first time in 79 years following victory over Belgium last month.

Gymnast Max Whitlock also enjoyed a stellar year as he became the first British man to win World Gymnastics Championships gold when he pipped teammate Louis Smith by 0.01 points in the pommel horse in Glasgow.

He also won team silver and floor silver and his performances were recognised with the SJA World Sport Achievement Award.

Dina Asher-Smith was handed the SJA Pat Besford Award for outstanding performance of the year after setting a new British record of 22.07 seconds on the way to fifth in the final of the 200m at the World Championships in Beijing – in the process adding to her 100m British record set earlier in the summer.

While there were also plenty of nods to other British Olympians with rower Katherine Grainger awarded the National Lottery Spirit of Sport Award, and England and Great Britain hockey player Alex Danson handed the SJA Committee Award.

Sportsbeat 2015