Britain’s most successful track athlete Mo Farah was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year on Sunday night ahead of more fancied contenders such as Anthony Joshua and Lewis Hamilton.
Northern Irish Superbike world champion Jonathan Rea was second and two-time Paralympic gold medallist Jonnie Peacock third as the annual vote threw up huge surprises.
Boxer Joshua, who became a heavyweight world champion earlier this year, had been the red-hot 1-8 favourite with bookmakers, while Hamilton was second favourite after winning his fourth Formula One title.
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But Farah, 34, who earned a sixth World Championship gold when he defended his 10,000m title in London in August, topped the poll.
“I didn’t see that coming. I honestly thought I wasn’t going to win it,” said Farah, whose only previous appearance in the top three came in 2011.
“We have such amazing sports in the UK with people doing great Lewis Hamilton, Jonnie Peacock and Anthony Joshua. I thought my closest would be after London 2012. I didn’t imagine I was every going to win this but I guess anything can happen. If you work hard you can achieve your dreams. I just cannot believe I have won.”
On a night of recognition for British track success, former Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill received a lifetime achievement award while Benke Blomkvist, Stephen Maguire and Christian Malcolm, who trained the men’s 4x100m relay team to a surprise World Championship gold, were named coaches of the year.
England’s World Cup-winning women’s cricket team won the Team of the Year prize, while 19-time grand slam title-winner Roger Federer was named overseas sports personality of the year.
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Source : CityA.M.