Jessica Ennis-Hill and Mo Farah have been named as the UK’s Athletes of the Year for 2016 in the British Athletics Writers Association’s annual awards with past chair Vikki Orvice also honoured.
The Olympic medallists were among those honoured at BAWA’s awards lunch in London, picking up the Female and Male Athlete of the Year prize for a record sixth time apiece following their medal-winning exploits at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
Ennis-Hill, who recently announced her retirement, landed heptathlon silver in Brazil four years after striking gold in Rio and was handed the honour in the voting ahead of Diamond Race 1500 metres winner Laura Muir and Olympic hammer bronze medallist Sophie Hitchon.
Farah was the outstanding British performer in Rio, retaining his 5,000 and 10,000 metres titles for a double-double – also adding victory in the Great North Run and at the Diamond League in London.
The five-time world champion topped the voting ahead of the 2015 recipient, Rio 2016 long jump bronze medallist Greg Rutherford, and sprinter Adam Gemili.
Double Paralympic sprint gold medallist Libby Clegg – who overcame injury and a move to wearing a blindfold to set world records – was named as Female Para Athlete of the Year while Jonnie Peacock took the Male Para prize following the successful defence of his T44 100 metres title in Rio.
Morgan Lake, tenth in the Olympic high jump final at the age of 19, is the Young Female Athlete of the Year while world junior champion at 10000 metres race walk Callum Wilkinson is the Young Male Athlete winner.
Elsewhere at the BAWA Awards – supported in 2016 by London Marathon Events and London 2017 – revered statistician Stan Greenberg, who did much to accelerate the data side of the sport in print and during a lengthy career with the BBC, received the Ron Pickering Award for Services to Athletics.
While Vikki Orvice was presented with the Association’s Inspiration Award for her extensive work in advancing the cause of women in sports journalism over a distinguished career spent mainly at The Sun.