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Newark's under-18 200m world record holder Amy Hunt finishes third in SportsAid’s prestigious One-to-Watch Award

Having been awarded third place at the ceremony for SportsAid’s prestigious One-to-Watch Award, Newark’s Amy Hunt believes her latest achievement will take her to even greater heights in 2020.

After breaking the under-18 200m world record and later becoming the European Junior champion, the sprinter was chosen as one of ten nominees for the annual One-to-Watch Award, selected from around 1,000 rising British stars supported by SportsAid across more than 60 different sports in 2019.

The 17-year-old attended the ceremony at Sea Containers House in central London alongside SportsAid alumni such as Christine Ohuruogu, Leon Taylor and Lutalo Muhammad, but just missed out on the award as para-swimming sensation Ellie Challis was named the winner.

Amy Hunt at the SportsAid award evening. (22772406)
Amy Hunt at the SportsAid award evening. (22772406)

Although the night did not end in ultimate success for Hunt, the up-and-coming athlete admitted the whole evening had been one to savour.

She said: “To be shortlisted alongside such amazing people has been incredible, and I’m so grateful to have made the top 10, never mind finish in third place.

“To be recognised for all the hard work I’ve put in this year is brilliant. I’m really privileged and proud because there are so many young sportspeople who have done so well in 2019.

“It’s great to be able to share the moment with my family and support teams that surround me. My training partners, my friends and my family all put so much work in to help me get to where I need to be.”

Launched in 2006, the One-to-Watch Award has gained a strong reputation for identifying the best up-and-coming prospects in Britain.

Diving world champion Tom Daley was the inaugural winner, with the likes of Courtney Tulloch, Amber Hill, Morgan Lake and now Challis following in his footsteps.

Previous winners have already amassed 43 senior medals from Olympic and Paralympic Games, World and European Championships, as well as Commonwealth Games, to establish themselves as household names.

For Hunt, the nomination is just the beginning and the athletics star is determined to follow in her idols' footsteps in 2020.

“My number one priority for next year is my A-Level exams, but on the track the world juniors in Kenya is my main target,” she added.

“I still don’t know whether I’ll run the 100m or the 200m, but I’d love to add the world title to the European gold I won this year.

“Obviously it’s an Olympic year as well, and although I’m not putting any pressure on myself to qualify, I’m going to go to trials and we’ll see what happens.”

Dame Katherine Grainger, Britain’s most decorated female Olympian, and five-time Paralympic para-equestrian champion Natasha Baker were among the panel of judges casting their eye over the nominees, and Grainger was blown away by the vast array of talent on show.

“The One-to-Watch Award is fabulous because we get to have a look at what the future might hold,” she said.

“I’ve been on the judging panel a few times now and every year it’s so hard. We really struggle to make the decision - they are outstanding athletes who are as young as 13 and have already had international success.

“That confidence that SportsAid gives - and the extra support and recognition - makes a huge difference to the lives of young people at that point of their career. It is quite game-changing for those who have made the top 10.”

SportsAid’s prestigious One-to-Watch Award was presented at the charity’s Celebrate the Next event, sponsored by the Royal Bank of Canada, in London. Please visit www.sportsaid.org.uk for further information.

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