Britain’s Chrissie Wellington claimed an extraordinary third Hawaii Iroman triathlon victory today, in record time, to put herself in the reckoning in the ballot for the SJA’s Sportswoman of the Year.
The 32-year-old former civil servant from Norfolk has previously won the Daily Mail‘s Wooldridge Award for sporting achievement and has figured prominently in the the Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year awards following her Ironman victory in 2007, in her first season as a rookie professional, and 2008.
But the course record 8hr 54min 2sec set this year for the formidable 2.4-mile Pacific ocean swim, 112-mile cycle and 26.2-mile marathon puts the tough triathlete firmly in the running for Britain’s oldest annual sports awards, alongside the likes of heptathlon world champion Jess Ennis, England’s World Cup-winning cricketers Claire Taylor and Charlotte Edwards, and world-beating cyclists Emma Pooley and Victoria Pendleton.
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The 61st annual SJA British Sports Awards will be presented at a gala lunch in London on December 9, with the votes of SJA members determining the winners of the Sportsman, Sportswoman and Team of the Year.
â€œThis truly was the toughest day in sport,” a victorious Wellington said in Hawaii today.
“I am so honoured and proud to now hold the course record. I was determined to race with all the fire and passion inside me and I am delighted to be able to take home the title once again.â€
Wellington becomes the second triathlete to figure in the reckoning for the 2009 British Sports Awards, with Alistair Brownlee, winner of the Olympic-distance men’s world title, among the contenders for the SJA members’ votes.
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