Four of the biggest names in Scottish sport make up an incredibly strong shortlist for Male Athlete of the Year at the 2017 Team Scotland Scottish Sports Awards on 21 September.
Winner of this award on three occasions, tennis ace Andy Murray is once again in the frame, alongside swimmer Duncan Scott, also a finalist in 2016. They are joined by boxer Josh Taylor and distance runner Callum Hawkins as the four go head to head for the prestigious award sponsored by Brand Oath.
Andy capped an outstanding 2016 by reaching the final of the ATP World Tour Finals in November, where he defeated Novak Djokovic to become World No.1, a ranking he held until mid-August 2017. Named by the International Tennis Federation as 2016 Men’s World Champion, Andy had an injury hit start to 2017 but regained his form when reaching the semi-finals of the French Open and Wimbledon quarter-finals.
Winner of Young Athlete of the Year on 2015, Duncan has gone from strength to strength in the senior ranks, coming away as a double 2017 World Championship medallist. He took a sensational gold alongside fellow Scot Stephen Milne and GB team mates Nick Grainger and James Guy in the 4x200m Freestyle Relay before going on to add a silver as part of the 4x100m Medley Relay quartet.
With ten wins from ten since turning professional in 2015, Josh lifted the Commonwealth super-lightweight title in October 2016, defeating England’s Dave Ryan with a fifth round stoppage. He put on another brilliant display against South African Warren Joubert in March to retain the title with the referee stepping in to end the contest in round six. He followed up with a superb defence of his title against England’s Ohara Davies in July, adding the WBC Silver Belt to his list of accolades.
Individual bronze and team gold medallist at the European Cross Country Championships in December, Callum started 2017 by becoming the first British athlete to beat Mo Farah for seven years when finishing second at the Great Edinburgh International Cross Country. He continued this rich vein of form, setting a new Scottish Half Marathon record in Japan in February. At the World Championships in London in August he put in the run of his life to take 4th in the Marathon, equalling the best result ever by a British athlete.
Paul Bush, Chairman, Commonwealth Games Scotland said: “The names on this shortlist show the strength of Scottish sport at the top level. Each of these athletes would be a worthy winner, representing the absolute pinnacle of achievement. I look forward to celebrating their many successes with them at the Team Scotland Scottish Sports Awards on 21 September.
Sponsor of the Male Athlete of the Year Award, Brand Oath is a branding agency with a distinctive track record. Their skills have been honed in the high pressure and deeply scrutinised world of international sports and major events branding. They combine the positive values associated with honest sporting endeavour with design and branding experience to provide you with that competitive edge that could be the difference between winning and losing. Whichever sector you operate in, whether that’s within the sports arena or outside it, you operate in a competitive world, prepare to win with Brand Oath.
Bernie Shaw-Binns, Managing Director at Brand Oath said: “As part of our ongoing involvement with Team Scotland we are delighted to sponsor this award and congratulate all the finalists on their fantastic achievements this year.”
Winners across all award categories will be crowned at the Team Scotland Scottish Sports Awards in a star-studded celebration of Scottish sport on 21 September at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.