We'd crown Wiggo! The British heroes of 2012 pick their winner for SPOTY
23:04 GMT, 26 November 2012
If it was simply down to the 12 nominees, Bradley Wiggins would win the most eagerly anticipated BBC Sports Personality of the Year award in its 59-year history.
If it was just down to Mo Farah, however, he would walk off with the prize himself.
The list of nominees was released on Monday, and Wiggins was selected by five of them — Jessica Ennis, Sir Chris Hoy, Ben Ainslie, Sarah Storey and David Weir — as the person they would most like to see win the award.
NICOLA ADAMS: ‘I would love to see a woman win, so it would be great for Jessica Ennis to be recognised.’
MO FARAH: ‘I want to win it myself.’
JESSICA ENNIS: ‘I’d love to see Mo Farah because he’s a good friend, but there are the Paralympians too. If you’re really pushing me, I’d have to say Bradley Wiggins because of the Tour de France and the Olympic gold — but only just!’
RORY MCILROY: ‘I’m a big tennis fan so I would like to see Andy Murray win. Andy winning gold at the Olympics was huge, and that was a stepping stone to what he achieved in the US Open. A monkey off his back, a great player and hopefully the first of many Grand Slam titles for him.’
The field for the 2012 award has been extended in recognition of an incredible year of sport. The shortlist was chosen by a panel of respected figures across the world of sport, including Sportsmail’s Head of Sport, Lee Clayton.
The nominees were asked the question, ‘Who would be your Sports Personality winner’ during interviews for this week’s Radio Times.
Wiggins is the bookies’ favourite, ahead of Farah. The middle- distance runner and Ennis trailed Wiggins, with two votes each from among their peers.
BEN AINSLIE: ‘It’s a very tough call, but I would say Bradley Wiggins deserves it most. Before now he’s almost been hidden in the shadows a bit behind Chris Hoy. But this was really his year.’
KATHERINE GRAINGER: ‘This year was all about girl power. Jessica Ennis would be a worthy winner. She’s an all-round athlete at her peak and well deserving of the honour.’
SIR CHRIS HOY: ‘It should be Bradley Wiggins, but I say that cringing, because then I think about Andy Murray, then about Katherine Grainger…’
ANDY MURRAY: ‘It’s been an amazing year for British sport and it’s tough to pick a winner. I hope it will be a celebration of the year as a whole and of what we, as a nation, have achieved.’
Golfer Rory McIlroy is the only person shortlisted not to win an Olympic or Paralympic gold medal.
Andy Murray, who is third favourite, made the list after he followed his Olympic gold by becoming the first British male tennis player to win a Grand Slam in 76 years.
After last year’s furore, when not a single sportswoman made the shortlist, five of the 12 this year are female. It is an issue Ennis feels is particularly important.
She said: ‘I’ve had loads of letters from young girls and that’s a really positive thing. They are interested in athletics after watching the Olympic Games. Further down the line we will see what a big impact 2012 had on women’s sport.’
ELLIE SIMMONDS: ‘I would pick Mo Farah, for his sheer determination and fantastic achievement of pulling off the double gold.’
DAVID WEIR: ‘I’d love to see Bradley Wiggins win, but it would be great if someone from the Paralympics was recognised — Ellie Simmonds or myself.’
SARAH STOREY: ‘For me, the vote should be behind Bradley Wiggins. To see him win the Tour de France and Olympic double before we started competing inspired us. Just being on the list with him is an honour.’
BRADLEY WIGGINS: The favourite among his peers didn’t pick a winner, but he did take the chance to have a pop at Lance Armstrong. He said: ‘Lance Armstrong Well, look what’s happened to him. As it stands, I’ve won more Tours than him!’
BBC director of sport Barbara Slater
chaired the selection panel and said: ‘It was difficult to leave off
Olympians and Paralympians of the calibre of Charlotte Dujardin,
Alistair Brownlee, Jade Jones, Sophie Christiansen, Laura Trott, Jonnie
Peacock, Jason Kenny and Victoria Pendleton, to name just a few
‘The panel also reflected long and
hard on the heroics of stars from other sports such as (golfer) Ian
Poulter during the “Miracle of Medinah”, the brilliance of (boxer) Carl
Froch and the “magnificent seven” from champion jockey Richard Hughes.’
The winner will be chosen by a public vote during the ceremony at London’s ExCeL Arena on December 16.