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First BEAA Athletes’ Athlete of the Month shortlist revealed View all news

The British Elite Athletes Association has today revealed its first shortlist for the newly-launched Athletes’ Athlete of the Month award.

Four World Class Programme British athletes have been selected for their accomplishments in January 2023, both in competitive successes and personal triumphs. The award enables elite British athletes to recognise their peers’ achievements for a range of reasons, with BEAA members across over 40 sports deciding the winner.

The shortlist comprises: Emma Finucane (cycling), Tully Kearney MBE (para swimming), Lynsey Sharp (athletics) and Matt Weston (skeleton).

Finucane ended the month on a high by winning a clean sweep of four titles at the British National Track Championships in Newport. In doing so, the 20-year-old Welsh cyclist became the first sprinter to achieve an unbeaten record at the championships since Katy Marchant in 2015.

Kearney, a 25-year-old para-swimmer, publicly shared her autism diagnosis after 16 years of “hiding it,” in her words. She was diagnosed aged nine and kept her condition private, but opened up to British Swimming staff over the last two years. At the start of the year she decided to reveal her diagnosis publicly, highlighting both the challenges it can pose but also the positive impact on her life and career.

Sharp returned to competitive racing after more than three years out. The former 800m European champion ran the 600m at the Glasgow Athletics Miler Meet in 1:28.91. It was her first competitive event since September 2019, after which she took a break from athletics following a cancer scare in November, gave birth to her son Max in October 2021, and suffered a stress fracture while trying to return in April 2022.

Finally, Weston stood out in a remarkable month for British winter sport. Less than a year after finishing 15th at the Winter Olympics and having considered quitting skeleton, he became the first British man to win the world skeleton title for 15 years, winning by 1.79 seconds in St Moritz. That achievement came a week after winning the European champion title in Altenberg.

Elite athletes can vote for their Athlete of the Month from 16:30 GMT today (31st January), with the winner to be confirmed across the BEAA’s website and social media channels shortly.

Good luck to everyone shortlisted!

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