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Sports

Andy Murray among British Olympians celebrated in New Year honors list

The sporting elite made up 10% of the honors handed out by the British monarch this year. Knighthoods were handed to Andy Murray and Mo Farah, while Katherine Grainger and Jessica Ennis-Hill became dames.

Tennis star Andy Murray has capped off a remarkable 2016, becoming Great Britain's youngest modern knight at the age of 29. The Scot won Olympic gold for the second time, reached three of the four Grand Slam finals and ended the year as world number one. Murray was also recognized for his contribution to his community and to various local charities.

"Obviously it is the highest honor you can get in this country. But I feel like I'm too young for something like that," he said on Friday before the announcement. 

Great Britain's sporting heroes dominate the New Year honors list, with five knighthoods and damehoods awarded to the sportspeople for excellence, the longevity of their success and their contribution to local communities.

Mo Farah was already a CBE following London 2012, and the 33-year-old was recognized for retaining his 5,000- and 10,000-meter Olympic titles at Rio 2016.

"I'm so happy to be awarded this incredible honor from the country that has been my home since I moved here at the age of eight," Farah said. "Looking back at the boy who arrived here from Somalia, not speaking any English, I could never have imagined where I would be today - it's a dream come true."

Both Katherine Grainger and Jessica-Ennis Hill were given damehoods following their final Olympic Games after retiring post-Rio. The 44-year-old Grainger, the most decorated female Olympian, has won five Olympic medals, including one gold at London 2012.

Like Farah, Ennis-Hill was awarded a CBE for her success at London 2012. Recognized for her contribution to sport, the 30-year-old track and field athlete was given a damehood after securing silver at Rio 2016.

Paralympian Lee Pearson was also honored with a knighthood, while Sir Roger Bannister, the first man to run a mile under four minutes, received the highest accolade - Companion of Honour.