Karen Pickering was honoured with a lifetime achievement award recognising her 19 year career in swimming at the Commonwealth Games England Champions Club Dinner on February 6th.
Karen, who won 35 major Championships including 38 National swimming titles and 13 Commonwealth Games medals for England, first appeared in the colours of Team England at the 1990 Commonwealth Games where she won Silver and Bronze, but her finest performances came in 1994 and 2002 when she won two Gold medals on both occasions.
During a career spanning 19 years in 1998 Karen she became the first British swimmer to win a World Championship title, the same year she won three silver medals at Kuala Lumpur’s Commonwealth Games.
In a glittering night of awards for Commonwealth Games England athletes
Gymnast Reiss Beckford won best newcomer for his role at the Delhi Games in 2010 where he became a triple Silver medalist for the Team Final, Men’s individual All-round and Men’s floor events.
Natalie Melmore, the Commonwealth Games Women’s singles champion in lawn bowls was recognised as best women’s newcomer from Delhi following a hugely successful debut in 2010 when she beat world champion Val Smith in the final – just weeks after being asked to play in the singles event.
The best male athlete award was given to squash player Nick Matthew who won Gold medals in the Men’s Singles and Men’s Doubles in Delhi, subsequently becoming the world Champion and world number one in his sport.
The best female athlete award went to the archer Nicky Hunt who won two Gold medals in the Women’s compound bow team and individual events in Delhi.
In winning her individual title she scored an incredible 12 perfect tens from 15 arrows to blow away her nearest rival. Nicky was nominated by her England team-mates to carry the nation’s flag at the closing Ceremony.
Notes to Editors
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The full list of winners at the event were as follows:
Lifetime achievement award - Karen Pickering
Best male new comer in Delhi - Reiss Beckford
Best female– Natalie Melmore
Best male athlete in Delhi - Nick Matthew
Best female athlete - Nicky Hunt