Congratulations to Blackburn Harrier – Sophie Hitchon – on taking the runner up spot at the BASC Athlete of the Year awards won by Mo Farah with Laura Muir in third place. Non other than the great Daley Thompson remarked that Sophie’s Bronze Medal at the 2016 Olympics was one of the standout performances of the whole Games.

Sophie was the first British athlete and first Woman to win an Olympic hammer throw medal for 92 years when she won the Bronze with a dramatic final and last throw of 74.54m which broker own British National Record.

To be recognised by the grass roots of the sport is a tremendous achievement and shows, as ever, that an athlete who works hard, gives it everything they have, battles through all the different adversities that they encounter, wins the hearts of athletic supporters everywhere and deservedly so.

These were some of the comments that came in from Members of BASC in putting forward her Nomination: ‘It is great to see a Brit, especially a female Brit, achieve such success in what has traditionally been an unfashionable event. I am sure Sophie will prove inspirational to others especially those who may feel they don’t have the physique to be the next Jessica or Mo – Denise

I believe Sophie’s improvement over several years from a junior through to the senior ranks and her great Bronze Medal performance in Rio demonstrate why she should be nominated for this award. Not only did she win a bronze medal, she became the first British woman to win an Olympic medal in the Hammer and the first British woman to win a field event medal for 28 years – Robert

Sophie is a great role model, and we hope she will encourage more athletes to take up field events – Christine