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Gymnast Wilson springs top prize at Leeds awards

By Jordan Rushworth

Top gymnast Nile Wilson and his coach Dave Murray scooped the top prizes at the 15th annual Leeds sports awards.

The event, at the First Direct Arena, celebrates the successes of the city’s brightest stars from all levels of sport.

The main award – sportsman of the year – went to gymnast Nile Wilson, who won bronze in the 2016 Olympics, to follow up on two golds in the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Wilson beat off competition from several finalists, including Leeds United’s Swedish international Pontus Jansson and boxer Josh Warrington, who is set to face Lee Selby in the IBF featherweight world title fight at Elland Road in May.

Wilson recovered from surgery to an ankle injury last year in time to take part in the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in October. He finished in sixth place at the Championships. He is heading out to Australia to represent Great Britain at the commonwealth games next month.

The award of coaches’ performance of the year went to Wilson’s coach Dave Murray, who also represents Leeds Gymnastic Club.

Speaking exclusively to Yorkshire Voice, Dave Murray said: “It was a fantastic feeling to get the sports coach performance award and it was nice to get the recognition not just for me but for all of the staff that help to coach Nile and other athletes at the club.”

Murray also reflected on the clubs successful year: “It’s been a brilliant year for the club with the success of the men’s teams and the other teams at the club, the club has grown by 1500 members this the year which is great.”

The coaches’ award was shared with the Leeds Rhinos Brian McDermott, after he guided his side to SuperLeague glory.

Leeds Rhinos also performed well at the awards, with the Betfred Super League Champions winning the inaugural sporting pride of Leeds award for their 2017 Grand Final victory.

Other winners at the awards included Triathlete Jess Learmonth, who won the sportswoman of the year award. The 29 year old won the 2017 Kitzbühel ETU Triathlon European Championships in June.

The other six finalists for the sportswoman of the year award included two time Olympic gold medallist Nicola Adams OBE and England women’s International Cricketer Lauren Winfield.

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