Froome adds Sportsman of the Year gong to incomparable 2017
Summer Sports

Froome adds Sportsman of the Year gong to incomparable 2017

06 December 2017 / 19:21

Tour de France winner, Vuelta a Espana champion and now Sports Journalists’ Association Sportsman of the Year – Chris Froome’s 2017 is simply incomparable.

Race after race, stage after stage, the double Olympic medallist has continued to move himself up the scale of cycling’s greats, with this year bringing about his fourth title at Le Tour.

That, combined with his maiden Vuelta, saw him pick up the top gong at the British Sports awards, voted for by more than 700 of the country’s leading sports writers, editors, photographers and broadcasters.

Further history could come his way should the Giro d’Italia winner’s jersey be added to his collection next May, but for now Froome can put his feet up and crown a year that will be very difficult to top.

He was not the only Team GB athlete in the top three at the ceremony in London, with Olympic champions Anthony Joshua and swimmer Adam Peaty finishing second and third respectively.
4x100mRelayLondon2017
Meanwhile the men’s 4x100m team relay that won World Championship gold at London 2017 were awarded Performance of the Year – with Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake taking the time to reveal a little insight into the issues of training for a relay.

The Great Britain team of Mitchell-Blake, CJ Ujah, Adam Gemili and Danny Talbot ousted the United States and Jamaica to take what some considered to be a surprise world title – particularly given what had gone before.

The race also proved to be Usain Bolt’s final hurrah in the London Stadium, leaving the team thrilled to cross the line ahead of one of athletics’ biggest legends.

“We had high expectations of ourselves but that was only the third time we had got the baton around properly,” explained Mitchell-Blake.

“During the relay camp, we just couldn’t get it right and I was getting really frustrated, started to panic and was like ‘wait, am I even going to run the race?’.

“But the guys had great faith in us, we went to a camp where they set a nice, calm tempo for us and we got the job done."

Talbot added: “We wanted to beat him (Bolt) and it was unfortunate he didn’t cross the line but that didn’t take anything away from his legacy.

“To get the victory against him and especially the Americans, a team who we’ve had so much banter with over the years, we were pretty happy to get one over on them.”
KateandHelenRichardson-WalshParade
The National Lottery’s role in getting athletes to Olympic level was recognised too, with Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh presented as their Spirit of Sport Award winners.

Hockey’s most famous couple and stars of the Team GB Rio gold medal-winning team, the pair have been inspirational figures on and off the pitch for nearly two decades, since first being part of the international programme.

“I think it’s particularly apt for this to be the National Lottery award, without them we would not be stood here as Olympic gold medallists,” said Helen.

“We are National Lottery babies, we came into the squad in 1999 and they came in to play 1997 and we have really benefitted from that throughout our 17-year careers.

“It’s seen many highs and lows and for it to culminate in Rio last year and to do it the way we did, as a team, that was what people picked up on when we came home because they could see that throughout us.

“That took an incredible amount of hard work and it’s something we’re incredibly proud of.”

Meanwhile, Kate added: “That squad of 31 young women set out to be the difference, create history and inspire the future.

“We take that job of being role models very seriously even though we’re old ladies and retired now, but the team now are doing that throughout.

“For Helen and I, being a same-sex couple together in the team was interesting at times and we feel very fortunate to have grown up in a sport where we feel comfortable in our own skin.”
BiancaWalkdenRio
The Olympic success did not end there though, with the SJA World Sport Achievement Award going the way of Bianca Walkden.

The taekwondo star has had nothing short of a monumental year, crowned world champion, world Grand Prix final winner and world taekwondo athlete of the year, as well as receiving a BBC Sports Personality of the Year nomination.

Sportsbeat 2017

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