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John Paul’s delight at top sportsman award

By SPP Reporter

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John Paul in action.
John Paul in action.

‘YOU can’t win them all." So says Caithness’s world cycling champion John Paul – but two out of four awards is not bad at all.

The Team GB cyclist and Olympic hopeful has claimed two new titles and has been named as the runner-up in the remaining two awards he was short-listed for.

At the end of October the 18-year-old – originally from Lybster but now living in Oxford – was runner-up in the Commonwealth Games Committee’s Scottish Sports Person of the Year Awards and in November he was crowned cyclist of the year through the Braveheart Cycling Fund.

On December 1 he was named runner-up in the Young Scottish Sports Person of the Year through the Daily Record and Sunday Mail at the awards night in Glasgow.

"It was a great night," he said. "There were a lot of people there and a lot of great awards.

"I was a little disappointed not to win, but you can’t win them all.

"The winner, Craig Benson, is a junior world swimming champion so it seemed like he deserved it."

Paul followed up the near-miss by being named Oxfordshire sportsman of the year last Friday.

However, the cyclist, who capped off his most successful season so far by getting into the Great Britain Olympic Academy, was too busy to attend the awards night in the Kassam Stadium, Oxford.

"Oxford is where my parents live and I won the junior sportsman of the year last year, so to win the senior one this year was pretty crazy," he said.

"To go from the junior to the senior in one year is really good.

"I couldn’t be there, unfortunately, due to training but I was really chuffed anyway."

Paul is due on the track this weekend at a Development World Cup event in Newport, Wales, and in mid-January he’s going out to Germany for a six-day competition in Bremen.

His father, also John Paul, said he is "very proud" of his son and is glad he is settling in to the heavy training in Manchester.

"He’s been doing really well at the moment," said Mr Paul. "It was quite a tough transition to go from training once a day as a junior and being at school to being in full-time training.

"But he’s set a few new personal bests at the gym in the last couple of weeks so it’s starting to take shape."

Paul has previously said he hopes the training could pave the way for a place at the London 2012 Olympics.

This year he took the world title for the under-19 individual sprint, as well as being crowned a double European champion and setting new personal bests in several events.

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