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Hannah Cockroft is first Paralympian to win Sportswoman of the Year at SJAs

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4 days ago

Hannah Cockroft has been named Sports Journalist Association Sportswoman of the Year – the first time a para athlete has received the honour in the award's 58-year history.

In a whirlwind year the five-time Paralympic champion claimed three gold medals at the IPC World Championships in London in July taking her tally of world titles to ten.

The T34 racer started her Championships with 100m gold and a new world-record time of 17.18 to see off the challenge of compatriot Kare Adenegan.

Three days later 800m gold followed – this time in a Championships record time – and she capped an extraordinary competition off with another Championship record and gold medal in the 400m.

"I like to make history but this is something new." Hannah Cockroft

Cockroft said "I cannot believe it. I don’t know what to say. Thank you for the nomination and thank you for this award. I like to make history but this is something new."

Elsewhere, this year’s Bill McGowran Trophy – annually awarded to a para sportswoman and man – has been awarded to para sprinter Sophie Hahn and wheelchair tennis star Alfie Hewett.

Hahn was also part of the British team that shone at the World Championships in London this summer as she claimed double gold in the T38 100m and 200m.

"The home support (at London 2017) was just incredible. All the crowd there just boosted me on really.” Sophie Hahn

The 20-year-old, who won gold and silver at Rio 2016, clocked 26.11 to set a new 200m world record and followed it up with another world-record run when she claimed the 100m title in 12.44.

Hahn said “This year's been absolutely incredible... The home support (at London 2017) was just incredible. All the crowd there just boosted me on really.”

And since claiming silver at Rio 2016 Alfie Hewett has gone from strength to strength on the wheelchair tennis circuit with doubles titles at Wimbledon and the US Open as well as a French Open singles triumph in 2017.

Those victories were followed by a stunning end to the season as Hewett became the first British singles player to win the Wheelchair Tennis Masters with victory over compatriot Gordon Reid last week. 

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