Sports Personality contender: wheelchair racer Hannah Cockroft

During the countdown to the 60th BBC Sports Personality of the Year award on Sunday, 15 December, we will be looking at each of the 10 shortlisted contenders.

Wheelchair racer Hannah Cockroft powered to a world title double as 2013 brought another year of sprinting success in a remarkable life story.

Hannah Cockroft factfile

Hannah Cockroft
  • Born: 30 July 1992, Halifax, Yorkshire
  • 2013 highlights: Double gold medallist at IPC world championships; won at Anniversary Games
  • Career highlights: Double gold medallist at London 2012 Paralympics

The 21-year-old from Halifax in West Yorkshire retained both her T34 100m and T34 200m titles at the IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon.

Cockroft's 100m triumph came in a new championship record of 17.88 seconds, with Amy Siemons second in 19.15, but she still felt there was room for improvement.

"In 2013 I broke three world records and I became double world champion so as much as I was not impressed and know I can do better, I did achieve what I set out to do," she said.

The year began with an MBE in the Queen's New Year Honours List for services to athletics, and included victory in the T33/T34 100m race at the Anniversary Games at the Olympic Stadium in London with a stadium record time of 17.80 seconds.

Nicknamed 'Hurricane Hannah', she was following up her twin success at the London 2012 Paralympics where she shattered four world records, and wrote the latest chapter in a story which began with serious illness as a baby.

Cockroft suffered brain damage, which also affected her legs and hips, after two cardiac arrests within 48 hours of her birth.

Sports Personality: Hannah Cockroft reflects on world dominance

Despite being told any walking would be impossible, she took her first tentative steps aged three after intensive physiotherapy and a variety of walking frames.

She still had mobility and balance issues, and was the first disabled student to attend her mainstream nursery, primary and secondary schools, and secured top grades. And she is still studying now, for a degree in media and journalism at Coventry University.

Cockroft dreamed of being a ballerina as a child, but found a love for sports as she entered her teens, starting with wheelchair basketball and the seated discus.

She graduated to wheelchair racing, and gave an interesting insight into her hectic schedule during 2010.

"In June that year, I broke seven world records in eight days, at the same time as becoming Prom Queen, completing my A-level exams and competing in my first international, overseas competition," she said.

After completing the 'triple double' of major titles, you might think a quieter period would ensue, but she is having none of that.

Did you know?

Cockroft is very superstitious - before every big race she paints her nails to match the colour of her kit

Cockroft, who holds six world records, has already set her sights on the 2016 Olympics in Rio where she will again target two gold medals - despite a change to her events, with the 200m being replaced by the 800m.

"It is hard to win a sprint and a middle-distance race, but nothing is impossible and it will look even more impressive if I can do it," said Cockroft, the world record holder in the T34 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m.

"It is a new challenge and a new title and will help motivate me."