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Sportsman of the Year: Andy Murray (Tennis)
Murray has finally pushed aside arguably the three greatest tennis players of all time to top the sport’s global rankings. He had an outstanding second half of the year, producing stunning display after stunning display to cement his place in tennis’ pantheon of legends. It will be tough for Britain to produce another tennis player with the same desire and talent for many generations.
Other Nominees: Usain Bolt (Athletics), Stephen Curry (Basketball), LeBron James (Basketball)
Sportswoman of the Year: Simone Biles (Gymnastics)
The amazing 19 year old from Texas showcased her immense talents on the biggest stage in all of sports. She emulated her performance from the 2015 World Championships by achieving a total of five medals, four of which were gold. Her immense athletic ability coupled with her grace and control might never be seen again. This was a very close run affair between Biles and Ledecky.
Other Nominees: Laura Kenny (Cycling), Katie Ledecky (Swimming)
Sports Team of the Year: Leicester City (Football)
The 5000-1 outsiders who rose to the challenge under Italian tinkerman Claudio Ranieri, the story of underdogs triumphing is one that never gets old in sports but this was a particularly special one. In a sport where competition has been decimated by the financial situation of certain clubs, Leicester competed using courage and desire as their fuel to claw their way to the top of the Premier League and never relinquished their grip. It was thought to be unthinkable but in the end they were triumphant. This is a story that football will never forget.
Other Nominees: Chicago Cubs (Baseball), Golden State Warriors (Basketball), Mercedes (F1)
Individual Performance of the Year: Wayde van Niekerk 400m Olympic Final
Being the only man to run 100m under 10 seconds, 200m under 20 seconds and 400m under 44 seconds it is crystal clear that van Niekerk is a special athlete but he broke a record that was meant to be unbreakable, or as close to it as the case may be. Michael Johnson was a once in a generation athlete but van Niekerk looks like he could run even quicker. It will be fantastic to watch the South African’s development as he moves closer to his prime years.
Other Nominees: Almaz Ayana (Women’s 10000m Olympic Final), LeBron James (NBA Finals)
Team Performance of the Year: GB Women’s Team Pursuit (Olympics, Cycling)
This team broke the world record in qualifying, the first round and then the final itself. Archibald, Trott, Barker and Rowsell Shand are in a league of their own but even this performance outstripped all that was expected of them. Hopefully the scandals involving British cycling won’t affect these four ladies too much.
Other Nominees: Australia Women’s 4x100m freestyle relay (Olympic Swimming), Denver Broncos (Superbowl 50), USA (Ryder Cup, Day Four)
Manager/Coach of the Year: Zinedine Zidane (Football, Real Madrid)
The legend grows as Zidane enjoys an impeccable first year in management. His side have won the European Cup and he has them at the top of the league after a record breaking undefeated run. He could end up emulating Pep Guardiola’s run at Madrid’s rivals.
Other Nominees: Eddie Jones (Rugby), Fernando Santos (Football), Toto Wolff (F1)
Moment of the Year: Carlos Braithwaite T20 World Cup Final (Cricket)
The West Indies required 19 runs to win off a final over from Ben Stokes. Not impossible but very unlikely. However, Braithwaite got his team off to the best start possible with a six from the first ball and he followed up with another three sixes in a row. Hitting four consecutive sixes is statistically unlikely, doing it in a final is even more unlikely. Doing it when your team requires an unlikely amount of runs to win in the final over of the T20 World Cup final is even less likely. This won’t happen again.
This was the closest award to hand out. The choice between Kris Jenkins’ buzzer beater and Carlos Braithwaite came down to the fact that a basketball player hitting a deep three pointer is more likely than a cricketer hitting four sixes in a row. I’ve attached both videos for you to compare.
The scores were tied up at 74 a piece between Villanova (second seed) and North Carolina (first seed) with 4.7 seconds to go. Villanova had the ball at the restart and the rest is history. An absolutely amazing end to March Madness with Kris Jenkins hitting the first ever buzzer beater in an NCAA Final!
Other Nominees: Leicester winning the title (Football), Serena Williams tying Graff’s Grand Slam record (Tennis), Villanova NCAA Buzzer Beater (Basketball)
Comeback Person of the Year: Michael Phelps (Swimming)
Even though Phelps has been back from retirement for two years he was dropped from the USA team after receiving his DUI in 2015. Phelps was outstanding in Rio picking up golds in each event except one.
Other Nominees: Eric Berry (NFL), Juan Martin del Potro (Tennis), Fabienne St Louis (Triathlon)
Tournament of the Year: NBA (Basketball)
The 2015/16 NBA season saw a record setting Golden State Warriors change perceptions of how the three point shot should be used in basketball, beating the 95-96 Michael Jordan-led Bulls’ record of 72-10 to finish 73-9. They were fantastic through the playoffs setting up a final showdown with LeBron’s Cavaliers. 3-1 up in the series, victory looked assured but King James doesn’t know when to quit and led his team back to win from an unprecedented deficit.
Other Nominees: Rio Olympics 2016, Wimbledon (Tennis)
Villain of the Year: Dave Brailsford (Cycling)
Cycling has come to another drug scandal in the wake of TUEs becoming public knowledge. The sport just can’t escape controversy.
Other Nominees: FIFA