20 year old Alice Tai added a further accolade to her collection in what has been an impressive 2019, headlined by her seven gold medals at the London Para-Swimming World Championships.
The Sunday Times' Sportswoman of the Year awards are amongst the most prestigious out there, and now in their 32nd year, continue to celebrate the outstanding contribution to sport made by elite performers, coaches, administrators, community volunteers and inspirational female figures.
Nominated in the Disability Sportswoman of the year award category, Alice Tai was up against three former Paralympic medal winning swimmers in Claire Cashmore, Charlotte Henshaw and Sarah Storey, each who have gone on to excel in new sports.
On being presented the award by a Paralympic legend and previous recipient of the award, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Alice Tai said:
"I'm pretty shocked and just completely honoured; the other three women nominated have been inspirations to me in the pool, and I've been following they're success as they've excelled in different sports. It's funny looking back as I remember sharing a room with Claire on a training camp in 2012 and being literally speechless I was so starstruck, I didn't want to embarrass myself so I just stayed silent the whole time!"
Having recently also become the first ever para-swimmer to be crowned Athlete of the Year at the British Swimming awards, Tai spoke further on what had been the building blocks to such a standout year:
"My coach and I sat down and we said we're not going to think about medals or world records, just the process of my race because I'd rather be happy with my swim than unhappy and still get a medal. Our goal is literally to pick up tiny little things that I can work on and go from there - if I do that well then that's good enough."
Nick Greenslade, deputy sports editor, The Sunday Times commented:
“These awards grow more significant with every edition but if ever there was a breakthrough year for women’s sport then it was 2019. The Sunday Times has been proud to showcase their achievements as part of a commitment to women’s sport lasting more than 30 years."
To find out more about the Sunday Times' Sportswoman of the Year awards visit there website here.