Sports History Chronicle British Sportsman of the Year 2019: Adam Peaty and The Greatest British Sportsmen of the Decade

Some of the names I considered for 2019 British sportsman were:

Callum Smith (Boxing) – retained the WBA title twice and is ranked as the world’s best active super-middleweight by several independent authorities.

Josh Taylor (Boxing) – won the IBF and WBA super-lightweight titles and Ring magazine.

Jonathan Rea -won his fifth consecutive world superbike title.

Six time world Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton. Another dominant season with eleven wins and seventeen podiums in 21 races.

Adam Peaty – the swimmer won three gold medals at the world championships.  He broke the world record for the 100m breaststroke and became the first man to swim under 57 seconds in the event.

Max Whitlock (Gymnastics) -won his third world title on Pommel Horse

Joe Fraser (Gymnastics) – became the first Briton to win a world title on parallel bars

Ben Stokes (Cricket) – vital contributions to England’s world cup triumph and Test match victory

Liam Heath (Canoeing) – world champion again at 200m in K1

James Woods (Freestyle Skiing) – world champion at slopestyle

Bradly Sinden (Taewondo) – world featherweight champion


Stokes is the popular choice and he produced some spectacular performances at important moments.  However, he wasn’t consistent enough for me.  Others on the list have to do something special to win if they have few competitions or back up a world championship with other titles.

My runners-up are:

Liam Heath who won both the world cup 200m K1 sprint races held as well as retaining his world title.

Lewis Hamilton, who does have the best car but also is now without doubt the best driver as well.  His year was at a similar level to 2018, perhaps slightly better, and for the length of his domination of the sport I was tempted to make him sportsman of the year.  However, one man continues to set new standards.

For the third time my sportsman of the year is Adam Peaty.  He won the world championship gold medals at 50m and 100m breaststroke, where he swam below 57 seconds for the first time when nobody else has ever been under 58.  He added a third gold in the 4x100m medley relay where he was a second quicker than anyone else.

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Previous Winners

2018 is Tai Woffinden(Speedway) Runners-up: Adam Peaty (Swimming) Lewis Hamilton (Motor Racing)

2017 Aled Davies (Para-athletics), Runners-up: Adam Peaty (Swimming), Liam Heath (Canoeing)

2016 Adam Peaty (Swimming) Runners Up: Jason Kenny, Mo Farah, Max Whitlock, Ollie Hynd, Adam Peaty and Andy Murray
2015 Adam Peaty (Swimming), Runners-up: Giles Scott (Sailing), Aled Davies (Para Athletics)
2014 Giles Scott (Sailing): Runners-up Rory McIlroy (Golf), Adam Peaty (Swimming)
2013 Mo Farah (Athletics) – winner of the 5000m and 10,000m world titles: Runners-Up: Andy Murray (Tennis), Chris Froome (Cycling)
2012 Bradley Wiggins (Cycling) – winner of the Tour de France and Olympic time trial gold: Runners-up: Ben Ainslie (Sailing),Andy Murray (Tennis), Rory McIlroy (Golf), David Weir (Para Athletics), Mo Farah (Athletics)

My choices as the best fifteen British Sportsmen of the Decade

Liam Heath (Canoeing) -Olympic and twice world champion with eight world cup wins at 200m K1 kayaking.

Jason Kenny (Cycling) – holds the record jointly for most Olympic golds by a Briton with six in sprint and keirin events.  Won three world titles as well.

Chris Hoy (Cycling) – much success in the  previous decade but in the 2010s won two Olympic and two world titles in keirin and team sprint.

Lewis Hamilton (Motor Racing) – won five of his six world Formula One titles in the 2010s.

Alistair Cook (Cricket) – played Test cricket from 2006 to 2018 and broke the record for most test runs by an England batsman.  Captained and played for the team a record number of times.

Max Whitlock (Gymnastics) – two Olympic golds and three world titles, specialising on pommel horse.

Giles Scott (Sailing) – Olympic gold and four world championships in the Finn class.

Rory McIlroy (Golf) – four major championship wins and world number one for nearly two years.

Adam Peaty (Swimming) – Olympic champion and eight world golds at 50m and 100m breaststroke and relay.  Set eleven world records

Mo Farah (Athletics) – winner of three 5000m and 10,000m world titles and did doubl es at the distances in two Olympics.

Andy Murray (Tennis) – winner of three Grand Slams (two Wimbledons), the Davis Cup and two Olympic golds in the greatest era of men’s tennis.

Chris Froome (Cycling) – winner of four editions of the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia in 2018 and the Vuelta a España twice.

David Weir (Para Athletics) – four Olympic and three world golds, eight London marathon wins

Aled Davies (Para Athletics) – two paralympic and six world titles at shot and discus.  Many world records.

Tai Woffinden (Speedway) – three times world individual champion.

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