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  Monday, 9 December, 2002, 02:49 GMT
Radcliffe 'honoured' by BBC award
Paula Radcliffe receives the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award
Radcliffe was given the award by Michael Johnson

Athlete Paula Radcliffe has expressed her joy at scooping the BBC's top sporting honour ahead of some stiff competition, which included footballing star David Beckham.

The world marathon record-holder was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year at a star-studded event held at Television Centre on Sunday night.

"It's such a big honour just to hold this trophy and look at all the other names on it and know that my name's going to be there," an emotional Radcliffe said.

The 28-year-old also took the opportunity to reveal her plans to run the 2003 London Marathon - a race she won at her first attempt at the distance this year.

Winning the coveted award has rounded off a spectacular year for Radcliffe.

She clocked what was then the second fastest time ever in her marathon debut in London last April, leading from start to finish to win in two hours 18 minutes 56 seconds.

Radcliffe went on to win the 5,000-metre title at the Commonwealth Games and then set a European record in the final of the European championships 10,000m in Munich.

Records continued to tumble as Radcliffe shaved 89 seconds off the world marathon record with a time of 2:17:18 in Chicago.

Radcliffe credits the London Marathon with helping her towards a sensational year.

"The London Marathon really kicked it off well in the spring," she told BBC sports presenter Sue Barker.

"The extra training for that really gave me strength to springboard off that for the track season."

Radcliffe then revealed her plans for 2003: "I just decided this morning I will be doing the Flora London Marathon next year - it set me up last year.

"My main goal will be the London Marathon and then the 10,000m in Paris for the World Championships.

"It's still a major aim to win a (world) gold on the track."

Paula Radcliffe after winning the 10,000m in Munich
2002 has been a great year for Radcliffe
Radcliffe was the clear winner of Sunday's award after polling 619,577 votes in a public phone poll vote.

England captain David Beckham was runner-up with 113,539 votes, while jump jockey Tony McCoy came third with 87,972 votes.

"I'd like to say a really big thank you to everyone that voted and people who've supported me this year."

Earlier in the programme, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was named Coach of the Year, while Europe's Ryder Cup heroes were top team.

Brazil's World Cup hero Ronaldo won the Overseas Personality of the Year, and Everton footballer Wayne Rooney took the Young Personality prize.

Marathon runner Jane Tomlinson, who has terminal cancer, won the Helen Rollason Award for achievement in the face of adversity.

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 ON THIS STORY
Winner Paula Radcliffe
"I'm very grateful to all those who voted"
In-depth section on the big BBC awards

Radcliffe triumphs

Awards

Winners in profile

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09 Dec 02 | Athletics
Links to more Sports Personality 2002 stories are at the foot of the page.


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