20th October 2022
MCCOLGAN, BREEN AND HODGKINSON SHORTLISTED FOR SWOTY 2022
Three athletes have been shortlisted for the 2022 Sportswomen of the Year awards and the winners will be announced on Thursday 17th November 2022.
After a superb season, Eilish McColgan (coach: Liz Nuttall, club: Dundee Hawkhill) has been nominated for the Sportswoman of the Year award, while Olivia Breen (Aston Moore, City of Portsmouth) is listed for the Disability Sportswoman award, and Keely Hodgkinson (Trevor Painter, Leigh) for the Young Sportswoman of the Year.
Eilish McColgan – Sportswoman of the Year
There are few superlatives left to describe Eilish McColgan’s 2022 season as she came away with four medals from the major Championships and Games this summer. She also revised the UK all-time record books along the way during a truly remarkable year.
Few will forget the historic night at a packed-out Alexander Stadium as McColgan turned on the afterburners to outsprint Kenya’s Irine Cheptai on the final lap of the 10,000m to secure a sensational gold medal for Scotland, and match her mum’s [Liz Nuttall] achievement from 1986 and 1990.
A 5000m silver added to a stunning Commonwealth Games for the Dundee Hawkill athlete as she contributed event further to Team Scotland’s medal haul in Birmingham.
Not content with her success in the UK, she returned just over a week later to bag two further medals at the European Championships in Munich, Germany.
Bronze in the 10,000m was followed by silver in the 5000m – just three days later – to secure more major medals to her CV.
Not only was McColgan excelling in terms of medals wins, but she has been breaking records and setting PBs all year.
She has beaten Paula Radcliffe’s British 10km record this year, clocking 30:19 in May at the Great Manchester 10km. This is in addition to her revising her personal bests in the 10,000m [30:19.02], the 5km [14:45] and the half marathon [66:26].
Olivia Breen – Disability Sportswoman of the Year
It has been a year of improvements for Olivia Breen as she has run quicker and jumped further than she ever has done before, and she brought joy to Team Wales at Birmingham 2022.
It was at the Alexander Stadium in August where the Welsh athlete ran one of the races of her life to seal her second Commonwealth Games gold medal, but her first in the T38 100m. Having won the long jump title in 2018, the 26-year-old won her second gold medal for Wales on the track.
Prior to the medal-winning display, she had been showing signs that a ground-breaking performance was on the cards as she had improved her long jump PB to 5.15m [alongside a wind-assisted 5.33m jump] and taken her 100m lifetime best down to 12.76.
With a World Para Athletics Championships and Paralympic Games coming up in Paris over the next two years, Breen will certainly be looking to build upon a highly successful 2022 season which sees her nominated in the Disability Sportswoman of the Year category.
Keely Hodgkinson – Young Sportswoman of the Year
After bursting into the public eye as she won Olympic silver and European indoor gold in 2021, Keely Hodgkinson (Trevor Painter, Leigh) continued her incredible rise in the sport as she became European (outdoor) champion for first time, and also won medals at the world championships and Commonwealth Games.
The season started in style as she revised the national indoor record to 1:57.20 at the Muller Indoor Grand Prix in February. Sadly, injury curtailed her chances of going for World Indoor gold in Belgrade, but the “business decision” paid off as Hodgkinson returned to the track in May in devastating form.
Three Diamond League victories in Birmingham, Eugene and Oslo preceded her silver medal at the World Championships. In Oregon for the latter, she was involved in one of the races of the Championships as she went head-to-head in a rematch with America’s Athing Mu who had edged the Olympic final in Tokyo.
Hodgkinson produced one of the races of her young career to date as she claimed silver, just a matter of hundredths behind the home favourite, Mu.
In Birmingham, the 20-year-old was once again involved in an excellent battle for gold with Kenya’s Mary Moraa. The African got the upper hand to take the title, but the Leigh athlete won the silver for Team England.
But the defining moment of the season for Hodgkinson came in Munich as she comfortably secured the European title on the final weekend of action.