LONDON (AP) – US Open champion Emma Raducanu was voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year on Sunday to cap an incredible rise throughout 2021.
Raducanu, 19, became the first-ever qualifier to win a Grand Slam singles title with her triumph in New York in September after not losing a set in the tournament.
She was the first British woman since Virginia Wade in 1977 to win a major tournament, which saw her beat the Olympic gold medalists – diver Tom Daley and swimmer Adam Peaty – in the spotlight of the BBC.
“All the support I have received this year has been absolutely insane,” said Raducanu, “and the energy I felt at Wimbledon this year playing in front of my home crowd is something I have never felt previously.”
Gareth Southgate won the Coach of the Year award after leading the England men’s football team to their first major final in 55 years at the European Championship. England were beaten on penalties by Italy in the final at Wembley Stadium in July, but the feat was also recognized with the title of Team of the Year.
Irish jockey Rachael Blackmore was voted World Sports Star of the Year. She was the first female jockey to win the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham in March and followed it up a month later with a Grand National victory – the first female to triumph in the race.
Quadruple Olympic gymnastics champion Simone Biles received the BBC Lifetime Achievement Award from the BBC.
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