Emma Raducanu wins Sports Personality of the Year 2021 over Tom Daley—'absolutely insane'

Emma Raducanu snapped up the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2021 while Tom Daley placed second

Emma Raducanu wins Sports Personality of the Year 2021 over Tom Daley—'absolutely insane'
(Image credit: Getty)

Emma Raducanu won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2021 last night, after being nominated for the prestigious prize alongside fellow pro athlete Tom Daley.  

The British tennis champ was visibly delighted as she virtually accepted the SPOTY trophy at Sunday's ceremony, calling the past year "absolutely insane" before thanking everyone who has supported her. 

She also gave a shout-out to her fellow nominees, which included Olympic diver Tom Daley and Olympic swimmer Adam Peaty. 

Her win has been widely celebrated by her legion of supporters, with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge even taking to Twitter to recognize the milestone. 

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Who won Sports Personality of the Year 2021?

The BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2021 has been awarded to tennis pro, Emma Raducanu. 

The 19-year-old made history at the US Open Final in September, becoming the first British woman in 44 years to win a tennis Grand Slam singles title. The Kent native beat Canadian opponent Leylah Fernandez in the nail-biting finale with two sets, just a couple of months after withdrawing from Wimbledon over "dizzy" spells. Her incredible achievement drew the attention of a number of high-profile people, including the Queen and Kate Middleton, both of whom congratulated Emma for her “outstanding performance” and “historic Grand Slam victory”. 

Emma Raducanu of Great Britain celebrates with the US Open winner's trophy after her victory over Leylah Fernandez

Emma Raducanu of Great Britain celebrates with the US Open winner's trophy after her victory over Leylah Fernandez

(Image credit: Photo by TPN/Getty Images)

Unfortunately, Emma was unable to accept her Sports Personality of the Year 2021 award in person due to a positive COVID-19 test. She delivered her speech virtually from her self-isolation in Abu Dhabi, where she was competing in a tournament when she caught the virus.  

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“Thank you, I mean, it’s such an honor just to be amongst these nominees,” she began, after showcasing her camera trophy. 

“And congrats to you for such an amazing year and all your achievements. So to win, it’s really pretty amazing to me. I am really happy with this of course and I’ve watched Sports Personality of the Year growing up so I’m really humbled to join the amazing past winners.” 

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The talented athlete added that she’s “very happy” to have won the US Open for “British tennis again”, before thanking her fans and her team for their ongoing support. 

“It’s been absolutely insane,” she said. "The energy this year playing at Wimbledon in front of my home crowd, that was something I've never felt before." 

Who votes for Sports Personality of the year?

The BBC Sports Personality of the Year is chosen by the public, who select their favorite contender from a shortlist of names drawn up by a panel of experts. Fans were able to submit their vote for free on the BBC website, or for 15p by phone call. 

This year's shortlist comprised of six British athletic heavyweights, with Olympic diver Tom Daley, Olympic swimmer Adam Peaty, and Paralympic cyclist and swimmer Dame Sarah Storey all included in the honorable line-up. 

Sports Personality of the Year Results Breakdown

Emma Raducanu wasn't the only winner at last night's ceremony. Awards were also presented for the following five categories:

Young Sports Personality of the Year: Skateboarder Sky Brown, 13, took home this well-deserved title after becoming the youngest British summer Olympic medal winner in the women's park skateboarding event at Tokyo 2020. 

Team and Coach of the Year: English football manager Gareth Southgate was named the Coach of the Year, while England men were hailed as the Team of the Year, after making it to the Euro 2020 final. 

World Sport Star of the Year: Ireland's Rachael Blackmore won World Sport Star of the Year, after becoming the first female rider to win the Grand National at Aintree.

Lifetime Achievement: USA gymnast Simone Biles took home the title of Lifetime Achievement Award, after winning Gold at the Olympics an incredible four times. 

Unsung Hero: The Unsung Hero Award, which recognizes the achievements of lesser-known sportspeople, was given to 'Fitmums & Friends' entrepreneur Sam Barlow.

Emma is a news writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life. She covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health or lifestyle story. When she's not reporting on the British monarchy and A-list celebs, you can find her whipping up vegan treats and running the roads to cheesy '90s pop music...but not at the same time, obviously.