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Hampshire Athletes are rewarded in New Year Honours List

Five of Hampshire's Athletes and Coaches have been rewarded in the New Year Honours List following a successful year for the county.

Hampshire sailor and five-time Olympic medallist Ben Ainslie has been awarded a Knighthood for his impressive sailing career that has seen him win gold at four consecutive Olympic Games: Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012.

"When I set out Olympic sailing twenty years ago, I never would have dreamt this would happen. I couldn't have achieved this honour without the support of all the people who have helped me throughout my career and so I hope they can also take some pride in this moment," said Ainslie.

Show jumper Peter Charles has been awarded an MBE following a career that spans over 20 years and saw him part of the British team that won Great Britain's first Olympic show jumping gold medal in 60 years. Charles, from Alton in Hampshire, almost finished competing after rupturing his spinal sheath, shattering three ribs and breaking a vertebra in a fall while competing back in 2006.

British sailing coach David Howlett, cyclist Dani King and keelboat sailor Helena Lucas have all been awarded MBE's for services to their respective sports. The awards follow an incredibly successful year for Hampshire at the London 2012 Olympics with eight Hampshire athletes winning medals, and 40 athletes representing the county at the games.

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