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BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2017: World 10,000m champion Mo Farah wins

Sports Personality of the Year: Mo Farah

World 10,000m champion Sir Mo Farah has been voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2017.

The 34-year-old was presented the award on video link by daughter Rhianna.

Farah won his third successive world 10,000m gold medal in London in August, despite almost falling twice late in the race.

He becomes the first long-distance runner to win the Sports Personality award since Paula Radcliffe in 2002.

World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea was second and two-time Paralaympic champion Jonnie Peacock third.

Former Liverpool and Scotland striker Kenny Dalglish announced the award at a sold-out Echo Arena in Liverpool after a public vote.

Farah, who was at the Sir Mo Farah Track in London, looked genuinely surprised to be named the winner before the video link cut out.

Former sprinter Michael Johnson stepped in to say a few words on Farah’s behalf.

“It’s well deserved,” the American four-time Olympic champion said. “This year he came into his home championships, his last race on the track, and still delivered.

“Over the years he’s dominated, he’s out there by himself and always got the tactics right.”

‘I cannot believe I have won’

Watch: SPOTY winner Farah upstaged by son

Farah, one of 12 contenders for the award, has been shortlisted five times before and enjoyed his previous highest finish of third in 2011.

After the show went off air, Farah spoke to those inside the arena.

Appearing close to tears, Farah said he was shocked to win because of the quality of the other athletes up for the award.

“It is pretty amazing and hard to think about,” he said.

“I didn’t imagine I was ever going to win this but anything can happen. If you work hard you can achieve your dreams.

“I am sorry I could not be there. My kid has been not well.

“I just cannot believe I have won.”

A third successive World Championships 10,000m gold medal was the highlight of a year in which Farah also won a world 5,000m silver, missing out on a fifth major championships distance double in a row.

The Somali-born Londoner, a four-time Olympic champion, received a knighthood from the Queen at Buckingham Palace in November.

He bowed out from his track career with a 5,000m victory at the Diamond League event in Zurich in August, and will now concentrate on road races.

Farah took the prize with 83,524 votes – 2,957 more than second-placed Rea, while Peacock took third with 73,429, just 18 more than boxer Anthony Joshua.

Runners-up in ‘shock’

Northern Ireland’s Rea became the first rider to clinch three successive World Superbike titles, breaking American Colin Edwards’ 15-year record for the number of points scored in a season.

He was also made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

“To be called out not third, and then second was incredibly strange, and a big surprise,” Rea told BBC Sport NI.

“I had a word with my wife beforehand and she asked me if I was nervous and I was like ‘no not really’. I was just happy to be here. I never in my wildest dreams believed that people would get behind me that much and it’s an incredible way to cap 2017.

“It’s been a dream come true to win not one world championship but now three on the bounce and to cap it off at the end of the season with this, before I start my preparations for 2018, is just incredible.”

Third-placed Peacock won the T44 100m final in London in 10.75 seconds for his second world title after success in Lyon four years earlier.

The two-time Paralympic champion, who had his right leg amputated below the knee as a five-year-old after contracting meningitis, also became the first disabled contestant in the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing show this year.

“It’s been a slightly strange year for me and tonight has been absolutely surreal,” he told BBC Radio 5 live.

“I think watching everybody do their piece, you see the incredible athletes we have in this country.

“Every single person I was saying ‘right, they’re above, so are they’ – just incredible names – so yes, it was a bit of a shock.”

Other award winners at Sports Personality 2017

Helen Rollason Award: Sunderland fan and club mascot Bradley Lowery, whose bravery touched the hearts of many people, died aged six from a rare form of cancer in July.

Young Sports Personality of the Year: Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden helped England win the Under-17 World Cup and took the Golden Ball award for the tournament’s best player.

Unsung Hero: Volunteer Denise Larrad for her fundraising work. The 55-year-old has had one sole aim – to get the people of Hinckley in Leicestershire active.

Lifetime Achievement: Former heptathlon champion Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill won Olympic gold at London 2012 and a silver at the Rio Games four years later.

Overseas Sports Personality of the Year: Tennis player Roger Federer won the award for a record fourth time after claiming his eighth Wimbledon title and 19th Grand Slam in 2017.

Coach of the Year: Sprint coaches Benke Blomkvist, Stephen Maguire and Christian Malcolm helped GB’s men’s 4x100m team to World Championship gold.

Team of the Year: England women’s cricket team produced a stunning fightback to beat India and win the World Cup in July.

A memorable night in Liverpool

Eyes on the prize

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds opened the show in Liverpool and then later introduced the Unsung Hero award with a cover version of the Beatles classic All You Need Is Love.

Rea arrived on stage on his superbike, while, like Farah, contenders Johanna Konta, Lewis Hamilton and Chris Froome joined on video link.

However, Farah’s son Hussein stole the limelight when the runner was interviewed in the build-up, desperate for cuddles with his world champion dad and drawing a laugh from the crowd back in Liverpool as daughter Rhianna stepped in on child-minding duties, only for Mo’s microphone to then fall off.

There were plenty of other former winners present at the Echo Arena, from Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean to Sir Steve Redgrave.

And Liverpool’s finest were also in attendance, boxer Tony Bellew and new Everton manager Sam Allardyce on hand to present the Team of the Year prize.

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