IAN COLE, in his latest profile of the contenders for the SJA Sports Awards, on world and Olympic 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu
Christine Ohuruogu might have been Sportswoman of the Year last year. After all, she won the world championships gold medal at 400 metres. Normally, thatâ€™s not a bad shout.
Trouble was, she had just returned from a yearâ€™s ban for missing three out-of competition drugs tests (nudge, nudge, know what I mean?) and many, apparently, thought she shouldnâ€™t have been running at all. And that cost her votes.
Twelve months on and the girl from Stratford, the Face of London 2012, steps out in the final of the Olympic Games 400 metres in Beijing.
Halfway round the final lap she has no chance. She’s seventh of the eight runners. At best.
Coming round the final bend itâ€™s more than doubtful. But dramatically the pre-race favourite, Sanya Richards, reveals she has gone too fast too soon and the gutsy Ohuruogu powers past both Richards and Shericka Williams to take Britainâ€™s only athletics gold medal from Beijing.
From Mary Rand, our first Sportswoman of the Year in 1959, through Lillian Board, to Tessa Sanderson and Paula Radcliffe, athletes have dominated our awards. Will your votes see Ohuruogu join them in November?