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Saturday, 7 December, 2002, 18:23 GMT
Congratulate Paula Radcliffe
Paula Radcliffe's golden season is capped with the award for BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2002.

E-mail your congratulations.

Radcliffe completed her annus mirabilis with a sensational run in Chicago, improving the world record by 90 seconds and leaving Catherine Ndereba trailing two minutes behind.

Radcliffe has also won the Commonwealth Games 5,000m, the European 10,000m title, the London Marathon and the World Cross Country title in a phenomenal year.

Is Britain's golden girl the nation's finest?

This debate is now closed. A selection of your e-mails appear below.

Paula Radcliffe is one of the finest British athletes ever. A whole nation willed her around the track in Manchester and Munich. What a fantastic role model! To run a marathon is a fantastic achievement in itself - to win your first and to break to world record on your second is simply amazing.

She should be an inspiration to all British runners

Andy Horlock, UK

It is fantastic to see Paula finally achieve the success and recognition she so richly deserves. I'll be shouting myself hoarse again for Paula at Paris next year! Well done Paula! Go get them at Paris, girl!!
Gemma Wicks, UK

At a time when not one of the British men could not get in the top 20 in at the European Cross Country Championships, it served as a reminder as to what Paula has achieved, not just this year but in previous years.

She certainly deserved to win the Sports Personality of the year award, and to do so by such a massive margin proved just how much she has caught the imagination of the public. She should be an inspiration to all British runners, male or female.

It is good news that she has decided to run London again next year - everything she has gone on to achieve this year was a direct result of her marathon training. Good luck for 2003.
Andy Horlock, UK

The problem in this country is that football takes the headlines whether England win or lose. Paula has done more for British sport than all the other British teams put together.

It could be another 36 years before England win the World Cup!! We heard more about Beckham's foot than Paula's triumph at the Commonwealth Games this year!
Hannah Hore, England

Paula has achieved more in the last year than most sports men and women can only dream of. She is the perfect role model for British sport and deserves everything she has achieved through ambition, hard work and determination to succeed. Well done Paula!
Hannah Hore, England

It would have been a tragedy if she had not won it after such an outstanding year

Rich Clayton, England

Paula Radcliffe is already one of the world's greatest ever athletes, her success is an inspiration to everyone.
Jo, UK

I think that Paula Radcliffe has shown her true character over the years and he determination has got what she really deserves...her Sports Personality award.
Danny Caputo, England

Paula Radcliffe definitely deserves the award of Sports Personality of the Year. I personally voted for her and it would have been a tragedy if she had not won it after such an outstanding year.

I have one concern last night in that in that the five shortlisted personalities were not treated evenly by the BBC. The nation's memory was jogged and prompted by the BBC towards voting for Paula as she was the first person given an individual profile on the programme last night thereby giving people extra time to vote for her.

Jonny Wilkinson, another outstanding athlete in the past year and without whom England would not be regarded as world number one in rugby union, was not given a personal profile on the show.

The eventual winner fully deserved the award, and thanks to the BBC she was helped to what was the correct result.
Rich Clayton, England

Paula Radcliffe is definitely the Sports Personality of the Year, her record this year speaks for itself. However, David Beckham second, for what? Breaking his foot and not winning the World Cup!

Well done to Paula Radcliffe on winning the coveted award

Bob Hazelwood, England

Jonny Wilkinson has set a new point record for an English rugby international, as well as becoming player of the year. So I say again, David Beckham??
A Viccars, England

Definitely the most deserving winner of this award of the last 10 years or so. Coming from nowhere to clean up the way she has this year is truly outstanding.
Alex B, UK

Is it not more worrying that, putting Radcliffe aside, we have no real achievements to celebrate?! Beckham lead England all the way to the second round of the World Cup and Lewis beat up an old and unfit brute.
Richard Pasco, UK

Well done to Paula Radcliffe on winning the coveted award "Sports Personality of the Year 2002". A fantastic year for Paula. She deserves this award for the hard work she shows during her running preparations, eg the London Marathon; what a runner. Showing the "bobble head" style we all know and love; that is just concentration.

And Paula went on to better events, winning the Chicago marathon. I would once again like to congratulate Paula Radcliffe on the award that she fully deserves to win outright. And a very merry Christmas to you and your partner.
Bob Hazelwood, England

Paula, is everything sport (especially the Commonwealth Games) should be about; guts, determination, dedication, whilst remaining a nice person. What has Beckham done to get nominated this year? Paula is a deserved winner!
Simon, Bristol, England

Paula, congrats on a great year. I was in the crowd in Manchester when you won the 5,000m, it was a privilege to be there and a moment I will never forget, due to the atmosphere and the performance you put in. Well done.
Martin, England

Even though she didn't have much success in the last few years, she continued to believe that she could win

V, England

An excellent example of what you can do if you don't give up. From World Championship disappointment, to a cross-country world title, two major marathon wins and a world record. A worthy winner.
Naseem, UK

Congratulations to Paula Radcliffe, a well deserved winner, but come on - David Beckham runner up?? What on earth does Lennox Lewis have to do to get some recognition in this country?

Heavyweight champion of the world three times, knocks out Mike Tyson, and the runner up is a footballer, who scores a penalty? Just in case everyone forgot, Brazil won the World Cup, not England.
Paul Evans, Wales

The way she ran in the Commonwealth Games makes her my Sports Personality of the Year.
Emily Richards, Wales

She is one of the sports people who have always been there, and even though she didn't have much success in the last few years, she continued to believe that she could win, and this year, she proved it to herself, and to the rest of us.
V, England

Paula Radcliffe has been so close for so long, and even when people said it wouldn't ever happen she proved them wrong. Isn't it time for us to show our appreciation and support?
Anna, England

Paula Radcliffe, all I can say is AMAZING, you deserved it all, all the hard work and determination, a great influence on the youth of today.
Vicki, UK

Radcliffe stands above the rest

Sujoy Kumar, UK

Paula has shown remarkable commitment and discipline, during the last few years. Her courage and determination have been outstanding; she is a true sporting great. She has my vote.
Peter Connolly, Scotland

She is clearly the most outstanding athlete of the year. I am not a fan of athletics but turned the TV on to watch F1 motor racing, during the adverts flicked through the channels and there was Paula in the Chicago Marathon. Needless to say I didn't see the rest of the motor race; I just had to see her win and re-write the record books.
Graham Elkins, England

She is an individual that has succeeded for herself. She shows determination and is someone young runners look up to.
Jasmine, England

Radcliffe stands above the rest. Her guts and determination are present in all her races and her championships wins this year as well as her marathon world record are truly deserved for her 'never give up' attitude.
Sujoy Kumar, UK

The best inspiration a young athlete can have, she has inspired my daughter Gemma to set goals and achieve more from her long-distance running. Paula even had time to send her a personal letter of encouragement for which we say a huge thank you.
Glynn T Harcombe, England

All these attributes make Paula a very unique and special person

Ian Crawford, England

Paula combines many contrasting virtues, gentleness with gritty determination and endurance with a sense of enjoyment.
Mal Schofield, UK

Paula Ratcliffe's achievements are sensational and inspirational. Watching every stride of her world record marathon in the U.S was a wonderful experience and stimulated me to appreciate not only her incredible athleticism but her courage, tenacity, commitment, perseverance and dedication and above all her genuine modesty and honesty.

All these attributes make Paula a very unique and special person fully deserving the BBC Sports Personality Award.
Ian Crawford, England

Over the years I've spent a lot of hours at all times of day and night cheering her on only for three or four people to pass her on the last lap. To finally see her get the medals she deserves has brought me and countless others unbelievable joy over the past year. Long may it continue and good luck for the future.
Matt, England

Paula has shown outstanding determination throughout and has now reaped her rewards.
Richard Cashmore, England

Paula Radcliffe has achieved so much this year and deserves a national tribute for her endurance and effort - in one of the most arduous sports both mentally and physically.
Stephen Price, Wales

She has shown true spirit and has made the nation proud

Chris Walsh, England

Paula Radcliffe is and has been a tremendous role model. With her determination she has proved that there is still life in British running and to be one of the greatest British female athletes.
Emma Fitzpatrick, England

Paula does it on her own - no horse or motor-bike under her, no team round her to take the strain and give her a breather. Whether it's 30 mins or 2hrs 17mins she is on the limit for the whole race.
Keith Tomlinson, Britain

All England's athletes have performed brilliantly this year but none more so than Paula Radcliffe, who, has achieved so much over the past year and has become an idol for many young people.
Kate Johnston, England

I'd like to congratulate Paula Radcliffe on showing true spirit and determination in moving from being one of the greatest female British athletes ever to becoming one of the best in the world ever. She has shown true spirit and has made the nation proud.
Chris Walsh, England

Paula has been an inspiration to young and old alike for many years. All the hard work determination and the heart break of the heroic front runs that ended without a medal, has finally developed into the success she has achieved this year.

She has been a great ambassador not only for athletics but for the whole of Great Britain, she totally deserves to win, she is a true sporting personality.
Nick, England

Watching Paula Radcliffe run is like watching perfection

Andy Roe, UK

Radcliffe was an inspiration and achieved something we can only dream about. Her commitment to her sport deserves nothing less than the top honour this evening as sports personality of the year.
Gary Knott, UK

She even beat me by over an hour in the marathon!
Mike Thorn, UK

Watching Paula Radcliffe run is like watching perfection, go girl.
Andy Roe, UK

The lap-by-lap Mexican wave of applause for Paula during the 5000 metres in Manchester is one of my best ever sporting moments.
Brian Roberts, England

Since I lost the use of my legs a while back, watching Paula Radcliffe run makes me feel like the tables of karma have tilted for the positive, so therefore she gets my vote.
Mart, England

Radcliffe has shown amazing determination and courage

John T. Morley, United Kingdom

Paula Radcliffe - she never stops trying and shows what athletics is all about.
Hazel Garrod, England

I saw Paula Radcliffe win the Commonwealth 5K in Manchester. She has won the World X country title, London Marathon, Commonwealth and European titles and Chicago marathon in one year!! But it was the performances that were so impressive.

She missed the 5K WR by three seconds in Manchester, ran what should be the WR in Munich for 10K, had it not been for a suspicious Chinese athletic performance years before. She ran 2:17 for the marathon in Chicago - which is so amazing because it wasn't until Sept 2001 that 2:20 was broken at all by a woman.

If she continues to perform next year as well, then she deserves to win your award next year, when she will compete in the World Champs and another marathon. Then in 2004 she says she will run the marathon in Athens in the Olympic Games.

That should then confirm as the greatest female long distance athlete in the world - ever!!
Tom Matko, UK

Paula Radcliffe has shown amazing determination and courage, and is a shining example to all young sports men and women.
John T. Morley, United Kingdom

In-depth section on the big BBC awards

Radcliffe triumphs


Winners in profile

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