Sophie is in illustrious company in writers’ poll

Britain's Sophie Hitchon celebrates after winning the bronze medal in the women's hammer throw final during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, Aug. 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
Britain's Sophie Hitchon celebrates after winning the bronze medal in the women's hammer throw final during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, Aug. 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

Sophie Hitchon crowned a remarkable year as the Rio bronze medalist finished third in the British Athletics Writers’ Association female athlete of the year poll.

The Burnley hammer thrower finished behind retiring legend Jessica Ennis-Hill, who bowed out with silver in the Olympic heptathlon, and Diamond Race 1,500m winner and British record breaker Laura Muir, who was second.

For Ennis, it was the sixth time she has collected the award – the same number as Mo Farah, who was again the men’s winner after retaining his Olympic 5,000m and 10,000m titles for a double-double.

Sophie, who finished fourth at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow last year, was fourth in the European Championships in Amsterdam, before breaking her British record to land bronze in Rio weeks later with a throw of 74.54m.

Last week she was again named in British Athletics’ World Class Performance Programme podium group for 2017, which was reduced from 21 to 15 athletes.

And British Athletics performance director Neil Black said: “If we look at Sophie Hitchon and the amazing things she has done over the last two to three years, clearly she is a contender for ongoing podium positions in the future. I’m excited about what the future looks like.”