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Tom Daley shortlisted for Olympian of the Year award.

Byline: JACK LACEY-HATTON Sportsbeat

TOM DALEY is an inspirational 'world-beater' who can now cap a Tokyo summer to savour by being crowned National Lottery Olympians of the Year, says fourtime Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogu.

Ohuruogu, the 2008 Beijing Olympic 400m champion, this week announced a roll call of Tokyo Olympic royalty as Daley and diving partner Matty Lee, Laura Kenny, Jason Kenny, Adam Peaty, Charlotte Worthington, Max Whitlock, Duncan Scott, Lauren Price, Beth Shriever and Galal Yafai were shortlisted for the top gong.

The National Lottery Olympian of the Year category was created to recognise elite sport through the awards and to showcase the impact that National Lottery funding has on Team GB athletes.

It was another hugely successful Olympics for Britain, with the team matching their total from London 2012, winning 65 medals, and finishing fourth in the medal table in Tokyo.

And according to Ohuruogu, considering the unique circumstances surrounding Tokyo 2020 caused by the pandemic, it was a special achievement from Team GB.

"I think they did really well, we have to put it into context with the year all the athletes had. It has been really difficult for them," said the former 400m runner.

"When you look at those circumstances, you feel incredibly proud of what our British athletes have been able to accomplish.

"It is really difficult for one to stand out above the rest, just because of the different factors you can consider.

"There will be one winner [of the award], and they will be deserving, but I think each athletes own personal story will chime with different people for different reasons.

"The ten on the shortlist are all world-beaters, they are all the very best at what they do. It is a great opportunity to celebrate those guys."

The National Lottery funds over 1,000 elite athletes on UK Sport's World Class Programme. It allowed athletes like Christine, now retired, to train full time during her career, have access to the world's best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science, and medical support.

It was a difficult task to whittle the shortlist down to just 10, and Ohuruogu still isn't yet sure on who she will be voting for.

"I really can't pick just one", she laughed.

"Everyone on the shortlist has such a beautiful story. I do love the power couple of Laura and Jason (Kenny) though, particularly with Laura coming back after having a baby as well.

"But there are amazing stories everywhere, look at Duncan Scott winning four medals in one game. I know how hard it is just to win one, to win four is incredible.

"Lauren Price is another great story; her sporting background is something else.

Choose your National Lottery Olympian of the Year by checking out the shortlist and voting either on Twitter @lottogoodcauses or at www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards.

Entries must be received by 5pm on August 23, 2021.

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Tom Daley and Matty Lee show off their synchro diving gold medals ANDY STENNING DAILY MIRROR

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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:JACK LACEY-HATTON Sportsbeat
Publication:The Plymouth Herald (Plymouth, England)
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Aug 21, 2021
Words:497
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