British sportswoman of 2013

  • Last Updated: December 23 2013, 18:02 GMT

Our British sportswoman of the year is Christine Ohuruogu, who won a thrilling 400m gold at the World Championships.

Christine Ohuruogu: Won 400m gold in Moscow
Christine Ohuruogu: Won 400m gold in Moscow

There is something magical in athletics when it comes to coinciding the best form with the titles which matter the most.

Christine Ohuruogu has the knack. The 29-year-old, born of Nigerian parents and who was brought up a mile away from the London Olympic stadium in Newham, won Olympic and Commonwealth gold medals by doing that.

And earlier this year her timing was even more perfect when she won the 400metres gold medal at the world championships with a run of stunning magnitude.


Check out our sportsman of 2013


Ohuruogu rarely leaves any sweat or energy unexpired when she is chasing major titles and this time in Moscow she produced the late surge for which she is famed to pip Amantle Montsho in a photo finish, to record a personal best time of 49.41seconds and beat the UK record set by Kathy Cook in 1984 by 0.02 seconds.

It saw her become the first British woman to win two World Championship titles, the first to win three global titles and the first British athlete of either gender to win three global titles in the same event.

To say that puts her the length of the finishing straight ahead of any other British competitor in the race for 2013 Sportswoman of the Year is something of an understatement.

Let's be honest - it was not a vintage year for Britain's women. There was no poster-girl performance from Jessica Ennis-Hill, whose post-Olympic year was plagued by an ankle injury which saw her miss the world championships.

It was left to less-heralded competitors to carry the flag - such as Helen Glover, who together with Heather Stanning had won the coxless pairs at the London Olympics to record not only the first gold medal won by Team GB at the 2012 Games but also the first ever British Olympic gold medal in women's rowing.

That is a quiz question for the future. Not content with that, however, Glover switched partners and demonstrated her power and versatility once more by becoming world champion at this year's World Rowing Championships at Chungju in South Korea along with Polly Swann.

There were other notable female performances. Becky James, the 21-year-old track cyclist from Abergavenny, beat Germany's Kristina Vogel 2-1 in the final of the world sprint championship to win her first world gold medal and went on to take gold also in the keirin.

Skeleton bobsledder Shelley Rudman continued her domination in the discipline when she took the world title in St Moritz, which was the perfect hors d'oeuvres for next year's winter Olympics.

And respect to Non Stanford, the 24-year-old Welsh girl who won the Under-23 World Triathlon Championships in Auckland in 2012 and stepped up to elite level this year, where in London's Hyde Park she promptly became the first athlete to win the senior world title at the first attempt with team-mate Jodie Stimpson finishing second.

All worthy feats, but when it comes to tenacity and timing in the most gruelling event on the athletics track, there is no-one more deserving of our acclaim than Ohuruogu.


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