Sports Personality of the Year: The shortlist is in… but who do our writers think will win
12:13 GMT, 27 November 2012
15:34 GMT, 27 November 2012
Names in the frame…
Nicola Adams (boxing)
Ben Ainslie (sailing)
Jessica Ennis (athletics)
Mo Farah (athletics)
Katherine Grainger (rowing)
Sir Chris Hoy (cycling)
Rory McIlroy (golf)
Andy Murray (tennis)
Ellie Simmonds (swimming)
Sarah Storey (cycling)
David Weir (athletics)
Bradley Wiggins (cycling)
Winner announced on Sunday, December 16
This year's BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award is as wide open as it has ever been following 12 months of remarkable achievement from our British athletes.
A stellar year for British sport has seen countless timeless moments created by our sporting stars at the London 2012 Olympic Games as well as some stunning winning performances from Brits in annual events such as the Tour de France and the US Open.
All 12 nominees are in with a genuine chance of winning and, as such, next month's vote promises to be the most hotly contested since the award's inauguration in 1954.
With the countdown to the showpiece on December 16 well under way, Sportsmail's panel of experts give their views on who they think should win the coveted award…
Last time out: Mark Cavendish (centre) collects the 2011 award ahead of second-placed Darren Clarke (left) and third-placed Mo Farah (right)
The greatest natural
extrovert in British Olympic sport since Daley Thompson. Both could
offend – Daley turned up in a tracksuit to accept his BBC award and then
swore live on air – but you can’t deny they are both personalities.
Even without his Olympic gold medal,
Wiggins would be the supreme candidate for becoming the first Briton to
win the Tour de France, and to do so clean.
Stellar year: Wiggins celebrates winning the Tour de France
Ben Ainslie, who has just retired
from Olympic competition, is the only Briton to have won four
consecutive individual gold medals and, therefore, my second choice.
Andy Murray is my third.
Charlotte Dujardin and Laura Trott,
two of only four women to claim two golds at one Games, are both unlucky
not to be on the list. So are triathlete Alistair Brownlee and sprint
cyclist Jason Kenny. Their omissions reinforce how 2012 was the year of
unsurpassed sporting achievement.
Until the Paralympic Games I would have voted for Bradley Wiggins or Mo Farah – but then the Weirwolf came along. I watched all of his races in London and still can’t comprehend the drive and mental toughness, never mind the physical toll, that took him to four gold medals.
His performances and personality –
particularly the change that occurred when he put on his red helmet,
ready to race – opened my eyes to the intense, challenging sport of
wheelchair racing. And I would hazard a guess I’m not the only one.
Weirwolf: David Weir won four gold medals at the Paralympic Games
After the debacle of last year, when not a single woman made the shortlist, I was really pleased to see Nicola Adams made the final 12. Personality The woman defines the word. So too, though, do double gold medallist Laura Trott and Ian Poulter, the inspiration behind Europe’s Ryder Cup win. I was surprised Trott missed out, in particular.
In this toughest ever ballot it has to be an individual who triumphed without the assistance of team-mates.
Therefore, as the most memorable face of
Britain’s greatest ever sports event, Mo Farah wins by a short head
from Andy Murray, whose historic triumphs give him second by a short
head from Bradley Wiggins.
Historic double: Farah won both the 5,000m and 10,000m at London 2012
Ben Ainslie, Katherine Grainger and Rory McIlroy would have made an outstanding triumvirate in any other year. Ian Poulter and Alastair Brownlee are ridiculously unlucky not to have made the shortlist.
Wiggins would be a worthy
winner even in this stellar year for Sports Personality. His Tour de
France success was even more of an achievement for a Briton than Andy
Murray’s first Grand Slam title at the US Open, which would have been
the landslide choice in almost every other year, as would Mo Farah’s
5,000m and 10,000m Olympic double.
The most glaring omission is golfer
Ian Poulter after his unbeaten heroics at Medinah brought that most
unlikely of Ryder Cup triumphs for Europe. And Laura Trott’s two cycling
gold medals should have been rewarded with a place in the final 12,
especially in this girl power year.
Unlucky: Laura Trott and Ian Poulter both missed out on nominations
It’s the toughest decision ever faced in a Sports Personality of the Year competition but for me Bradley Wiggins just edges out Andy Murray as the No 1 choice.
What these two have on the other top quality runners in the field is that they both won Olympic Gold AND another major competition in their sport. Murray’s triumph over Roger Federer in the Olympics at Wimbledon followed by his first major title in New York makes him the runner-up for me but for Wiggins to win the Tour de France and then win Olympic Gold a few days afterwards, not to mention trying to help Mark Cavendish win his, makes him the winner.
After such a vintage year someone has to miss out but I think Ian Poulter is unlucky not to make the short-list after the Miracle of Medina.
Golden girl: Ennis
Thumbs up: Grainger
The Scot should be recognised for his feat in ending the perennial wait for a British winner of a tennis Major title. While Bradley Wiggins was similarly ground-breaking in his Tour de France triumph, there was less of an all-consuming national obsession with that particular title.
Murray has had to carry the burden of the country’s desperation to anoint a successor to the legendary Fred Perry and he achieved the elusive target in the greatest era his sport has ever witnessed. Not only that, in the time of Federer and Nadal and Djokovic, he also rose to the challenge of claiming an Olympic gold in the iconic setting of Wimbledon’s Centre Court. For this double achievement, Murray deserves to shade the vote ahead of Wiggins and Month Farah.
Sealed with a kiss: Murray lifts the US Open title
What do you think
Tell us who you think should win and why by leaving a comment below…
One man who should have made the short-list is Ian Poulter. While Rory McIlroy made the cut for his individual feats as world No 1 and USPGA champion, it was Poulter who stood tall in the cauldron of an ‘away’ Ryder Cup, to spark a comeback success which gripped the nation.