After an incredible year of inspirational performances in women’s sport in Scotland, three major championship medallists have been named as finalists for Female Athlete of the Year at the 2019 Team Scotland Scottish Sports Awards on 3 October.
Winner of this award in both 2017 and 2018, Laura Muir is named as a finalist for the third year running after double gold at the European Indoor Championships in Glasgow. She is joined by shooting World Champion Seonaid McIntosh and World Judo Championships bronze medallist Sally Conway on a strong shortlist for the prestigious award sponsored by QTV Sports.
In March, at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow, Laura Muir completed an unprecedented ‘Double Double’ at the European Indoor Championships winning 1500m and 3000m gold to become the first athlete in history to successfully defend two titles. Her final lap in the 3000m was one of the moments of the championships as she left her rivals trailing in her wake. This year, Laura also rewrote the British Record books once again as she smashed the indoor mile mark with a superb run of 4.18.75, almost five seconds faster than Kirsty Wade’s record which had stood for 31 years, and well inside the Scottish Record held by Yvonne Murray. It was also the third fastest time of all-time for the mile indoors for women, with Laura’s 1500m split, at 4.01.83, also a new British Record, breaking her own mark for that distance.
“This past year has been such an important one for me in terms of having a major championship here in Scotland,” said Laura. “To win two European titles in front of a packed crowd at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow was so very special for me, and I’m delighted that it has brought joy to others and that this is reflected in the nomination for Female Athlete of the Year.”
With a perfect last shot of 10.9 in the 50m Rifle Prone final, Seonaid McIntosh made history last September by taking gold and becoming the first British woman ever to win an individual ISSF World Championship title. She also anchored Britain to their first ever team medal in this event and her 4th place in the Rifle 3 Positions event secured a Tokyo 2020 Olympic Quota Place for Team GB. In May she won silver in the 3P event at the World Cup in Munich, the first ever British medal in this event by a female athlete and in August was back on the World Cup podium in Rio de Janeiro with silver in the 10m Air Rifle. Three days later she took gold in the 50m Rifle 3P, the first ever World Cup Gold in a rifle event for a British female athlete since the World Cup circuit came into being in 1985. A rise to World and European No. 1 in the most recent rankings caps a fantastic year.
Delighted to be named as a finalist, Seonaid said: “I’ve had a really good season this year, both sporting and otherwise, and being shortlisted for this award is really the icing on the cake!”
Sally Conway won Great Britain’s first medal at the World Judo Championships in August 2019 in Tokyo, claiming bronze in the under 70kg category. Having missed out on the final, the 32-year-old went on to throw Austria’s Michaela Polleres for Ippon in the bronze medal match, to secure her first world medal. Sally has now won a medal at all major championships, having already made Olympic, European and Commonwealth podiums. As a result of a fantastic year she is currently in a qualifying spot for the Tokyo Olympics.
“I’m so happy to be a finalist for Team Scotland Female Athlete of the Year,” said Sally. “I really wasn’t expecting it at all and it’s very exciting to be nominated.”
Paul Bush, Chairman, Commonwealth Games Scotland said: “All three finalists have thrilled and inspired over the past year with major championship medals and record-breaking performances. I congratulate them on their many successes and look forward to celebrating their achievements at the Team Scotland Scottish Sports Awards on 3 October.”
The Female Athlete of the Year Award is sponsored by QTV Sports, one of the UK’s leading producers of sports content. Working with over fifty rights-holders in 25 countries, they deliver a range of production and digital content services, with partners including over a dozen international federations including cricket, hockey, archery, bowls and curling. They also pursue a local ambition to diversify coverage of Scottish sport and are well established as a broadcast and digital media partner in many Scottish sports, including badminton, cricket, football, hockey, netball, rugby, swimming, and tennis.
Winners across all award categories will be crowned at the Team Scotland Scottish Sports Awards in a star-studded celebration of Scottish sport on 3 October at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.