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Cricketer Stokes and sprinter Asher-Smith win SJA awards

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By Reuters
Cricketer Stokes and sprinter Asher-Smith win SJA awards
FILE PHOTO: Cricket - ICC Cricket World Cup Final - New Zealand v England - Lord's, London, Britain - July 14, 2019 England's Ben Stokes celebrates winning the World Cup Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra/File Photo   -   Copyright  Peter Cziborra(Reuters)

LONDON (Reuters) – England’s World Cup cricket hero Ben Stokes and world champion sprinter Dina Asher-Smith were named sportsman and sportswoman of the year at the Sports Journalists Association (SJA) British Sports Awards on Thursday.

Asher-Smith took the top women’s prize for the second year in a row. The 23-year-old won three medals at the 2019 world championships in Doha, including 200m gold.

Heptathlon world champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson won the award for outstanding performance.

All-rounder Stokes beat six times Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton into second place with England and Manchester City soccer player Raheem Sterling third.

Hamilton, one of the greatest racing drivers of all time and by far his country’s most successful, has won the award once before — in his 2007 debut season when he failed to win the title — and has now been among the runners-up on five occasions.

His Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has said repeatedly that he feels the 34-year-old, third in last year’s SJA vote, is under-appreciated by his compatriots.

Unsurprisingly in a World Cup year, cricket featured heavily with Stokes’ England team mate Jofra Archer awarded the trophy for international newcomer.

The England men’s one-day cricket team beat Champions League winners Liverpool and the nation’s Rugby World Cup finalists to Team of the Year.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Toby Davis)