University of Bath-based athletes Jamie Cooke, Paula Walker and Rebekah Wilson are celebrating being named winners of the British Olympic Association athlete of the year awards for their sports.
Modern pentathlete Jamie Cooke received his award at the end of a stunning year that saw him achieve the London 2012 qualifying standard by finishing fourth at the senior European Championships. He followed that up by winning the World Junior Championships in Argentina last month.
The 20-year-old, who trains at the Pentathlon GB high performance centre at the University of Bath, said: “I’m really pleased to receive this award, but it could have gone to so many of the athletes in the British pentathlon team.
“Mhairi Spence and Heather Fell won World Cup medals this year, Nick Woodbridge won a World Cup Final medal and Freyja Prentice won medals at both the World and European Junior Championships.
“We’ve had some really good results this year and that bodes well in the run-up to the Games.”
Cooke isn’t yet certain of a place at 2012 as there are further opportunities for GB athletes to qualify for the Games and competition is intense for places.
Paula Walker and Rebekah Wilson won the BOA’s bobsleigh award in a year that saw the pair win the World Junior Championships in the USA. The pair are now targeting competing at the next Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia in 2014.
Walker said: “I feel a huge amount of pride in winning this award, this is a stepping stone to real success moving towards Sochi 2014.”
Wilson added: “I have been focussed and dedicated to sport since being a little girl. But you never quite believe you will make it. I feel extremely privileged that all the hard work is recognised by achieving this award. Thank you very much and may the dream continue to Sochi 2014.”
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