Emma Raducanu, Simone Biles, Sky Brown: Women dominate BBC Sports Personality of the Year

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US Open champion Emma Raducanu has been named the 2021 Sports Personality of the Year winner as female athletes dominated this year’s awards.

The teenager finished first ahead of swimmer Adam Peaty and diver Tom Daley, who both won gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics this summer. 

Raducanu is the first woman to win the award since British equestrian star Zara Phillips was honoured back in 2006.

The British tennis number one also follows in the footsteps of Virginia Wade, who came first in 1977, after triumphing at Wimbledon.

Wade had been the last female British tennis player to win a Grand Slam until Raducanu’s victory in New York this year.

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It’s been a remarkable 2021 for the teenager, who started the season ranked almost 400th in the world and ends it as a major champion and inside the world’s top 20.

The 19-year-old is the first qualifier to ever win a Grand Slam and won 10 matches in succession at Flushing Meadows without dropping a set.

While the tennis star was widely tipped to win this year’s award, she was unable to collect the trophy in person as she is still in Abu-Dhabi.

Raducanu was scheduled to play an exhibition event at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship but was forced to pull out after testing positive for COVID-19.

She is, therefore, isolating in her hotel room and will travel straight to Australia upon completion of her quarantine ahead of the Australian Open in January.

Raducanu

The US Open winner was not the only sportswoman to be honoured at the awards this year.

British skateboarder Sky Brown was named the Young Sports Personality of the Year. The 13-year-old won a bronze medal in the park event at Tokyo 2020 this Summer, becoming the country’s youngest-ever medallist. 

US Gymnast Simone Biles also won the Lifetime Achievement Award after receiving widespread praise for opening up on her mental health struggles.

The American is the most decorated gymnast of all time, with seven Olympic medals and 25 from the World Championships.

And Irish jockey Rachael Blackmore was named the World Sports Star of the Year. Blackmore became the first female jockey to win the Grand National onboard Minella Times and was named the leading jockey at the Cheltenham Festival in March. 

Sky Brown

But it’s Raducanu who was the star of the night. Earlier this year, she was taking her A-Levels and attempting to qualify for her first major. Now, she is the US Open champion, new British number one and the Sports Personality of the Year winner.

Fingers crossed she can repeat her heroics in 2022.

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