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24 September 2014
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Paula Radcliffe is BBC Sports Personality of 2002

Britain's top distance runner, Paula Radcliffe MBE, was tonight crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year after 619,577 viewers voted for her.

Paula is the first woman in over a decade to be honoured with the accolade.

Before 2002 Paula seemed destined to be remembered for the medals that got away, but it has been a triumphant year for her.

Highlights included smashing the world record for the marathon in Chicago by 89 seconds and taking first place in the London Marathon; the Commonwealth Games 5,000m; European Championships 10,000m; and the World Cross Country Championships.

Paula thanked her husband Gary Lough, her coach Alex Stanton and her physio, Gerard Hartmann.

The runners up in the Sports Personality poll were last year's winner David Beckham and Champion Jockey Tony McCoy with 113,539 and 87,972 votes respectively.

The European Ryder Cup Team were give the Team of the Year award after beating off close competition from Rhona Martin's curling team that won gold at this year's Olympic Winter Games and Arsenal.

The Ryder Cup Team provided one of the biggest upsets this year as they beat the fancied American team in a fantastically exciting competition.

However, Arsenal did not miss out altogether as Patrick Viera presented his successful manager Arsene Wenger with the Coach of the Year award. His team did the "double" - winning the FA Cup and the Premiership last season.

George Best was presented with the Lifetime Achievement award in recognition of his brilliant footballing talents for Manchester United and Northern Ireland.

His award was presented by another of football's greats, Sir Bobby Charlton.

Brazilian footballing superstar Ronaldo scooped the Overseas Sports Personality of the Year award.

He was instrumental in his country's win over Germany to take the World Cup this summer, winning the Golden Boot on the way.

Continuing with the football theme, this year's Young Sports Personality award went to Everton’s rising star Wayne Rooney.

England Manager Sven Goran Eriksson presented the Premiership's youngest ever goalscorer with his award.

The Helen Rollason Award was this year won by Jane Tomlinson.

38-year-old Jane is terminally ill with cancer, but despite the odds has proved herself to be an outstanding sportswoman.

Since her diagnosis she has done the London Marathon, finished in the top half of the field in the London Triathlon and beat her husband by four minutes in the Great North Run.

In doing all this she has raised over £100,000 for Cancer Research UK.

All the results were broadcast tonight (Sunday 9 December 2002) live on BBC ONE during BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Notes to Editors

Pictures, for media use only, are available on the BBC's digital picture board.

George Best to be given 2002 Lifetime Achievement Award at BBC Sports Personality of the Year (02.12.03)

Blue Peter announces final three for BBC Sport Award (06.12.02)

Sports Personality of the Year - did you know? (05.12.02)

BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2002 - voting opens (19.11.02)

Previous winners



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