22-year-old says award tops off best year of her career
Becky James, who won two gold and two bronze medals at the UCI Track World Championships in Minsk, Belarus, at the beginning of the year, has been named Sunday Times and Sky Sports Young Sportswoman of the Year.
Golds in the keirin and sprint and bronze in the 500m time trial and team sprint at the championships in Minsk meant the 22-year-old became the first British cyclist to win four medals at a single world championship.
James, unable to attend the ceremony as she was competing in round two of the UCI Track World Cup in Aguascalientes, Mexico, said: "I’m so gutted I can’t be there in person. It's just incredible to receive the award and it rounds off the best year of my career so far and I'm proud to see the long, hard hours of training have paid off.
"There's so many people that I owe thanks to, but in particular I'd like to thank my coaches and all the support staff at British Cycling who have helped me over the years, and also my family and friends for their constant support. I'm looking forward to building on what I've achieved so far, and hopefully 2014 will be another great year."
Shane Sutton, Team Sky performance advisor, said: "This year we saw the emergence of Becky James. To win two senior titles – I mean that's as high as it gets. It's a phenomenal achievement. She has a big future ahead of her – and I think she can surpass anything that we have seen to date."
Other contenders for the Young Sportswoman award included Dina Asher-Smith (Athletics), Charley Hull (Golf) and Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Athletics)
The Sportswoman of the Year award was awarded to Christine Ohuruogu (Athletics).