Rio medallists win British Athletics Writers’ Association female and male athlete of the year honours for a record sixth time apiece
Jessica Ennis-Hill and Mo Farah have been named as the British Athletics Writers’ Association (BAWA) athletes of the year for 2016.
The duo were honoured at the BAWA awards lunch in London on Friday, picking up the female and male athlete of the year prizes for a record sixth time apiece following their medal-winning exploits at the Olympic Games in Rio.
Ennis-Hill, who recently announced her retirement, landed heptathlon silver in Brazil four years after striking gold in London and was handed the honour in the voting ahead of Diamond Race 1500m winner and British record-breaker Laura Muir and Olympic hammer bronze medallist Sophie Hitchon.
Farah was the outstanding British performer in Rio, retaining his 5000m and 10,000m titles for a double-double – also adding victory in the Great North Run and at the Diamond League in London.
The five-time world champion topped the voting ahead of the 2015 recipient, Rio 2016 long jump bronze medallist Greg Rutherford, and sprinter Adam Gemili.
Double Paralympic sprint gold medallist Libby Clegg – who overcame injury and a move to wearing a blindfold to set world records – was named as female para-athlete of the year, while Jonnie Peacock took the male para-athlete prize following the successful defence of his T44 100m title in Rio.
Morgan Lake, 10th in the Olympic high jump final at the age of 19, matched her feat of 2015 by landing the young female athlete of the year prize, while world junior champion in the 10,000m race walk, Callum Wilkinson, is the young male athlete winner.
Elsewhere at the BAWA awards, revered statistician Stan Greenberg, who did much to accelerate the data side of the sport in print and during a lengthy career with the BBC, received the Ron Pickering award for services to athletics.
The BAWA inspiration award was handed to athletics writer Vikki Orvice.