Laura Muir collected another hugely important accolade in London in Friday – as she landed the Female Athlete of the Year award from the British Athletics Writers’ Association (BAWA).
Double European Indoor champion Muir becomes the first Scot to win one of the main BAWA awards for 26 years since Liz McColgan was honoured in this way back in 1991.
Sammi Kinghorn added to the Scottish success by taking the BAWA Female Para Athlete of the Year award to add to her lengthy list of achievements for 2017.
It was a good day for Laura’s coach, Andy Young, as Jemma Reekie made it a double by collecting the British Milers Club Young Athlete of the Year award following her European U20 1500m tile win in Italy. Muir won the BMC Athlete of the Year award.
Mo Farah took the male athlete of the year prize for a record seventh time following a final track season that saw the 34-year-old claim his 10th global title by winning the 10,000m at the IAAF World Championships in London.
The four-time Olympic gold medallist, who is building toward next April’s Virgin Money London Marathon, topped the voting ahead of world 4 x1 00m gold medallist and Diamond League winner CJ Ujah with relay team-mate Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake third.
Muir was named female athlete of the year at the close of a season that saw the Scot claim double gold in the European Indoor Championships in Belgrade over 1500m and 3000m before finishing fourth in the 1500m at the IAAF World Championships as well as sixth in the 5000m.
While also completing her veterinary degree, she claimed British outdoor records in the mile and indoors over 1000m and 5000m. Muir edged out Dina Asher-Smith and Asha Philip, two members of Britain’s 4 x 100m squad that took silver at the World Championships.
Muir receives the British Female Athlete of the Year award in London on Friday from 2018 European Sports Championships executive James Mulligan (photo courtesy of BAWA)
‘This is the oldest and most prestigious of the athlete of the year awards with a history going all the way back to 1963,’ said Andy Young.
‘It is voted upon by the journalists covering athletics week in and week out throughout the year, so it means a lot because the voting panel are real experts in track and field.
‘Previous winners read like a Who’s Who of the great athletes from the past of British and World athletics with the likes of Jess Ennis, Paula Radcliffe, Sally Gunnell and Mary Peters, to name but a few, so Laura is thrilled to be in that bracket.’
Muir revealed that chasing more glory at the 2018 European Championships in Berlin and the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham is on her radar.
‘It’s exciting to have another home champs at world indoors,’ she said.
‘I really love racing indoors. But for me, I don’t feel too much pressure on me for next year. I’m completing my final year of studies and that’s my big target. At the same time, I’m training really well. So I’ll want to go to the Europeans in Berlin and come home with a medal.’
Dame Mary Peters received the Ron Pickering memorial award for services to athletics for her work in providing opportunities in supporting talented young sportspeople and the community at large in her native Northern Ireland. The 78-year-old, who won pentathlon gold at the 1972 Olympics, continues to be active in her charitable sports trust.
Jonnie Peacock took the male para athlete of the year award for the second successive time after a season that saw the 24-year-old Paralympic champion regain his 100m T44 world title in London.
Wheelchair racer Sammi Kinghorn landed the female para athlete of 2017 prize for the first time. The 21-year-old gained her maiden global titles with 100m and 200m T53 gold in London in addition to 400m bronze and a clutch of world records throughout the year.
Sammi Kinghorn – named Female Para Athlete of the Year by BAWA