Sports History Chronicle British Sportswoman of the Year 2019: Alice Tai – @alice__tai and The Greatest British Sportswomen of the Decade

As I have done for the previous seven years I have decided on my choices as the outstanding British and world sportsman, sportswoman and team in the year 2019.  This year I have also made my choices in the same categories for the 2010s decade.

Firstly my choice as the British sportswoman of the year.

Some of the most notable performances were:

Lucy Bronze (Football) – winner of the Champions League with her club and one of the outstanding defenders in women’s football.  She was second in the vote for the best player in the game and was part of the England team that reached the world cup semi-finals.

Ellen White (Football) – at the World Cup was joint top goalscorer with six.

Dina Asher-Smith (Athletics) won the 200m gold medal at the world athletics championships.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Athletics) – won world championship gold at the heptathlon and broke the British record.

Seonaid McIntosh  (Shooting) –  won three World Cup medals (including the first World Cup Gold to be won by a British Woman), becoming the first British Woman to rank World  number 1 for the 50m Rifle Three Position event and was European Champion in the 300m Rifle Prone event with an equal World Record score.

Alice Tai (Para swimming) – won seven golds at the world champs and set four world records

Hannah Cockroft (Para athletics) – double world champion and two world records

Sophie Hahn (Para athletics) – two gold medals and world records in sprints.

Bianca Walkden and Jade Jones (Taekwondo) – both won world titles.  This was Walkden’s third and Jones’s first to add to her two Olympic golds.

Elinor Barker (Cycling) – winner of the scratch race at the world championships.

Hollie Doyle (Horse Racing) – set a record for a woman in Britiain of 116 winners in a calendar year

Emily Scarratt (Rugby Union) – voted world rugby women’s player of the year in the fifteen a side game.

Lauren Price (Boxing) – won the middleweight title at the world  amateur championships and European Games.

Emily Benham Kvåle (MTB Orienteering) – won  Long Distance, Midle Distance and the Sprint at the  World Cup final in Germany.  Victories in six of eight World Cup races this season.

The three I have shortlisted are Katarina Johnson-Thompson,Seonaid McIntosh and Alice Tai.  I have KJT ahead of Dina this year because she broke the British record and got close to 7000 points which would have put her in the most elite company in history.  She had to beat an outstanding champion in Nafi Thiam whereas Dina didn’t have to face the athlete who was fastest in the world.

Seonid made British history in a sport which is really competitive with many countries taking part.  To be number one and equal a world record was an outstanding achievement.

Alice Tai produced something truly exceptional with her performances at the world championships.  Winning seven golds is remarkable but sometimes in para sport the depth of competition isn’t strong in every class.  Alice was facing one of the greatest para swimmers, Jessica Long, but came out on top.  The quality and number of Alice’s great swims in 2019 make her my choice as British sportswoman of the year.

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Alice Tai




2018 Dina Asher-Smith (Athletics). Runners-up Kara Adenegan (Para-athletics), Rachel Atherton (Mountain Bike), Vicky Holland (Triathlon)

2017 Bianca Walkden (Taekwondo) Runners-up Elise Christie (Short track speed skating), Hannah Cockroft (Para athletics)

2016 Rachel Atherton (Mountain Bike): Runners-Up Nicola Adams, Laura Kenny, Kadeena Cox, Jade Jones

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)


My twelve British Sportswomen of the decade are:

Hannah Cockroft (Para athletics) – 5 paralympic golds and 12 world titles setting numerous world records.

Elise Christie (Short track speed skating) – the first British woman to win a speed skating world title.  She won three  including the overall title in 2017.

Lizzy Yarnold (Skeleton) – the first British woman to ever win two Winter Olympic gold medals.  She also won a world championship gold and world cup title.

Bianca Walkden (Taekwondo) – Three world titles in the heavyweight division and one of the greatest years in the history of taekwondo in 2017 when winning every Grand Prix event.

Jade Jones (Taekwondo) – winner of two Olympic golds and a world title

Rachel Atherton (Mountain Bike) – the best downhill biker of the decade winning four world championships and five world cups.

Nicola Adams (Boxing) – won two Olympic gold medals and held the WBO female flyweight title.

Laura Trott/Kenny (Cycling) – became the most successful British woman in Olympic history with four golds in team pursuit and omnium.  She also won seven world titles.  Five of her global titles came in individual events.

Charlotte Dujardin (Dressage) – with her outstanding horse Valegro won three Olympic golds and two world titles.

Jessica Ennis (Athletics) – won two world golds and the Olympic title at heptathlon.

Helen Glover (Rowing) – won 3 world titles and 2 Olympic golds as one half of the coxless pair with two different partners.

Sarah Storey (Para Cycling)  – won fifteen world and seven Olympic titles

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