Sky Scholar and swimmer Siobhan-Marie O'Connor overjoyed at Young SWOTY crown

By Mark Ashenden

Last Updated: 24/03/2017, 11:00 GMT

Siobhan-Marie O'Connor has had an incredible 2016 in the pool
Siobhan-Marie O'Connor has performed heroics in the pool this year

Swimmer Siobhan-Marie O'Connor has expressed her pride, joy and fortune at being crowned Young Sportswoman of the Year.

The 21-year-old Sky Academy Sports Scholar received the prestigious trophy in London on December 8 following her heroics in the pool in 2016, especially after winning silver at the Rio Olympics in the summer.

O'Connor, Team GB's rising star from Bath, has continued to shine with another stunning year in the water, capped off in Brazil when she only just missed out on gold in the 200m individual medley final.

The performance also secured a new British record. It was the second year running she had made the awards shortlist but this time O'Connor scooped top place, beating Catie Munnings (Motorsport), Ellie Robinson (Swimming) and Amy Tinkler (Artistic Gymnastics).

"It's an absolute honour to win young Sportswoman of the Year," O'Connor said. "It was a privilege to be nominated among so many talented young girls.

"It was such an inspiring evening celebrating what has been another incredible year for women's sport. It was such a great event, and I feel extremely lucky to come away with the award."

The Sportswomen winners will be revealed on December 8

O'Connor is now starting to focus on a new Olympic cycle with Tokyo the next Games in 2020. She made her Olympic debut as a 16-year-old at London 2012, won six medals at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and relay gold at the World Championships in Kazan in 2015.

But 2016 has been a fabulous year, with double gold and silver in the European Championships in May and three titles at the British Championships in Glasgow before her heroics in Rio.

Laura Kenny was crowned the Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year. The 24-year-old track cyclist became the first British woman to win four Olympic gold medals by retaining her omnium and team pursuit titles at Rio 2016.

Kenny was presented with her award by 2015 winner Jessica Ennis-Hill, after finishing ahead of 14-time Paralympic gold medallist Dame Sarah Storey and double Olympic taekwondo champion Jade Jones.

Rowing duo Helen Glover and Heather Stanning collected the 2016 Olympians of the Year award, Team GB's hockey team, who won Britain's first ever women's Olympic hockey gold were crowned Vitality Team of the Year.

Kadeena Cox won the Paralympian of the Year accolade after winning four medals at Rio 2016.

Full details of the awards are on the official website


WHAT'S COMING UP FOR OUR SCHOLARS....

DEC 9 - 11: Elise Christie, World Cup short track speed skating in Shanghai

DEC 10 - 11: Quillan Isidore, BMX in St Etienne

DEC 11: Jessica Judd, European Cross Country Championships, Italy

DEC 16 - 18: Elise Christie, World Cup short track speed skating in Gangneung, South Korea

NOV 25 - DEC 22: Holly Bradshaw, South Africa training camp