Sports History Chronicle British Sportswoman of the Year 2017: Bianca Walkden

As I have done for the last five years I have decided on my choices as the outstanding British and world sportsman, sportswoman and team in the year 2017.

Firstly my choice as the British sportswoman of the year for 2017.

Some of the most notable performances were:

Lisa Ashton who won the world darts championship without dropping a set but after that didn’t have much success elsewhere.

At the world para-athletics championships Hollie Arnold, Sophie Hahn, Samantha Kinghorn, Sophie Kamlish, Georgina Hermitage and Hannah Cockroft all set world records and there were numerous world titles for them as well.  Cockroft won the most golds winning the 100m,400m and 800m.

Britain’s Mallory Franklin won two world titles at canoe slalom including individual gold in the C1.  She was fifth in the season long world cup.

Jodie Taylor won the Golden Boot at the women’s European football Championships in helping England reach the semi-finals.

Elise Christie became the first European woman to win the overall world title at short-track speed skating and also won golds at 1000m  and 1500m.

Johanna Konta won the Miami Open against the best players in the world and reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon before her season tailed-off.

There was more success for British cyclists with Elinor Barker winning the points race, coming second in the scratch race and the Madison at the world championships.  She also took gold at the European championshps  and a world cup race.
Katie Archibald won the world and European titles in the omnium and also had success in world cup points races and in the Madison.

In the less well known sport of aquathlon (similar to the triathlon) Emma Pallant took the world title.

Ellie Downie became the first British gymnast to win the all-round title at a European Championship and also won three other individual apparatus medals.  She was unable to compete later in the year at the world championships due to injury.

In taekwondo Bianca Walkden had an amazing year.  She won her second world title and won each of the four Grand Prix titles, the most important events of the year outside the championships.  This was the first time anyone had ever done this in the Grand Prix since it started in 2013.

The England women won the cricket World Cup largely thanks to a brilliant bowling performance in the final by Anya Shrubsole who took six wickets.

My top three are Elise Christie, Hannah Cockroft and Bianca Walkden who all had success at the highest level more than once in the year.

However, for me the most outstanding performer of the year was Bianca Walkden, who had possibly the greatest season in the history of taekwondo.  To put it into some sort of context for sports fans what she achieved this year in winning all four Grand Prix events and the final is like doing the Grand Slam in tennis and winning the end of year championship.  Add to that winning the world championship and you have a simply incredible performance through out the year.  Bianca is a worthy winner of the Sports History Chronicle British Sportswoman of the Year.

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Previous winners and runners-up:

2016 Rachel Atherton (Mountain Bike): Runners-Up Nicola Adams (Boxing), Laura Kenny (Cycling), Kadeena Cox (Athletics/Cycling), Jade Jones (Taekwondo)
2015 Lizzie Armitstead (Cycling): Runners-up Rachel Atherton (Mountain Bike), Hannah Cockroft (Para Athletics)
2014 Hannah Cockroft (Para athletics): Runners-up Lizzy Yarnold (Skeleton), Charlotte Dujardin (Dressage)
2013 Charlotte Dujardin (Dressage) – unbeaten on Valegro, set a world best score and was European Champion Runners-Up: Hannah Cockroft (Para athletics), Becky James (Cycling)
2012 Sarah Storey (Para Cycling) – four golds at the Paralympics: Runners-Up: Charlotte Dujardin (Dressage), Jessica Ennis (Athletics), Ellie Simmonds (Para Swimming), Laura Trott (Cycling)



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