Raducanu closes a breathtaking year with New Year’s honors

LONDON (AFP) – Emma Raducanu was named to Britain’s New Year’s honors list on Friday – alongside a handful of Olympic stars – in recognition of her stunning decisive victory at the United States Open.

Cyclists Jason and Laura Kenny – who won 12 Olympic gold medals between them – received the knight and the lady title and Tokyo gold medalists Tom Daley, Adam Peaty and Max Whitlock took been rewarded.

The awards recognize outstanding achievement in various fields including show business, sport and politics, as well as the contributions of people across society.

A number of medical leaders leading Britain’s battle against the coronavirus also received awards in the latest list.

Raducanu, who became the first British woman to win a Grand Slam since Virginia Wade in 1977, was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).

Britain’s Emma Raducanu celebrates with the trophy after winning the 2021 US Open tennis women’s final match against Canada’s Leylah Fernandez at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on September 11, 2021. PHOTO: AFP

“It makes me immensely proud and grateful to be entered to receive an MBE from Her Majesty The Queen,” said Raducanu, now 19, who did not drop a set at Flushing Meadows during her run for the title.

“This year has been full of incredible surprises for me, so ending 2021 with this meeting is very special. “

Jason Kenny received the knight title after becoming the most decorated British Olympian of all time at the Tokyo Games, winning his ninth medal – and seventh gold – on the final day.

His wife, Laura Kenny, Britain’s most successful Olympian, was awarded the Dame title – the female equivalent of a knight’s title.

British Cycling’s performance director Stephen Park, who himself becomes the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), praised the Kennys for their accomplishments.

“Not only are Jason and Laura true masters of their craft, they are also wonderful teammates, role models and ambassadors of our sport,” he said.

Diving star Daley, who won his first Olympic gold medal in his fourth Games, was awarded the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) for services to diving, rights and charity.

Gymnast Whitlock and swimmer Peaty, both of whom won three Olympic gold medals, also received OBEs.

Seven-time Paralympic wheelchair racing champion Hannah Cockroft has been named OBE after winning two gold medals in Tokyo.

Chelsea Women’s manager Emma Hayes received an OBE after helping the Blues retain their Women’s Super League title in 2021 and reach the Champions League final.

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