Monday, 19 December 2016

Andy Murray Wins Record Third BBC Sports Personality Of The Year Award

Andy Murray

Andy Murray has become the first person to win BBC Sports Personality of the Year three times after a landslide victory in the public vote.

The 29-year-old tennis star beat 15 other contenders, including two-time Olympic triathlon champion Alistair Brownlee, cycling's power couple Jason and Laura Kenny, Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy and Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah.

Murray, who won Wimbledon, Olympic gold and finished the year as the world's top-ranked tennis player, received 247,419 votes compared to 121,665 votes for runner-up Brownlee.

Receiving the award in Miami where he is training, Murray thanked his wife Kim and 10-month-old daughter Sophia "who won't know what this means yet", adding "maybe in a few years she'll appreciate it".

<>Speaking to the 12,000-strong audience he said: "I appreciate everyone's support and congrats to all of the athletes there tonight.

"It's been an amazing year for British sport and I'm very proud to be a part of it."

However the world number one joked he "had a bone to pick" with his wife after he said she had voted for Olympic showjumping gold medallist Nick Skelton, who came third with 109,197 votes.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon extended her congratulations to the athlete tweeting: "Well done, Andy Murray! BBC Sports Personality of the Year for a record third time ... and thoroughly well deserved."

Fellow SNP politician Alex Salmond joined her, posting: "A huge congratulations to @andy_murray, the first man to win the @BBCSPOTY treble."

Following the Scottish athlete's success, bookmaker Coral announced it had suspended betting on him being knighted in the New Year honours list.

Meanwhile, Leicester City bagged a stunning double feat when manager Claudio Ranieri was named coach of the year for guiding the Foxes to a shock Premier League title triumph in May.

The side, which was also crowned team of the year, were 5,000-1 to lift the trophy at the start of last season.

Swimmer Michael Phelps got the royal seal of approval as the Duke of Cambridge presented him with the lifetime achievement award after capping his career with five Olympic golds in Rio.

William said it was a "particular privilege" to be able to hand him the accolade, telling the swimmer: "You are one of the greatest sporting icons this world has ever had.

"And your 23 gold medals - never mind all the other colour - pales into sheer superhuman history.

"Hopefully your retirement gives somebody else a chance now," the Duke finished jokingly, after the crowd stood to cheer the US athlete.

The swimmer responded by saying: "It's an honour to stand in front of these athletes, to be able to hear the stories from everybody, to watch what they go through and to be able to hear the goals and the dreams that they have and them not giving up.

"Thank you, this means absolutely the world to me," he added.

Ben Smith was presented with the Helen Rollason award. The 34-year-old battled depression after being bullied but recovered and ran 401 marathons in 401 days (10,506.2 miles) between September 2015 and October this year to raise money for charities Kidscape and Stonewall.

He told the BBC: "I didn't have any confidence or self esteem and I was scared about who I was.

"Running gave me back my confidence, it gave me my self esteem, but most importantly I'm not afraid any more, so thank you."

Paralympic swimmer Ellie Robinson, 15, was named BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year and Marcellus Baz, a boxing coach from the East Midlands, was the BBC Get Inspired Unsung Hero.

American gymnast Simone Biles, who won four gold medals and a bronze at the Rio Olympics, was the overseas winner.

Among the audience was BBC sports presenter Ore Oduba, fresh from his Strictly Come Dancing success on Saturday night.



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