Murray, Wiggins, Mo… but who will win most hotly-contested Sports Personality EVER
11:01 GMT, 11 September 2012
Who should win this year's Sports Personality award
Click to view yesterday's poll results
There’s no doubt about it – this is the greatest year in
the history of British sport.
Almost every day this summer has brought another cause
for celebration – we have clapped, cheered, jumped up and down and done the ‘Mobot.’
From Bradley Wiggins becoming the first Briton to win the
Tour de France, right through the unprecedented success at the Olympics and
Paralympics in London, to Monday night’s Grand Slam success for Andy Murray, we
have hailed every amazing moment.
But such rich success now brings a big dilemma – who out
of all our outstanding sportsmen and women should win the coveted BBC Sports
Personality of the Year award
In what will be
probably the strongest shortlist ever, Sportsmail considers the case for each
contender (and there’s bound to be a few we’ve missed out).
Our Greatest Dilemma: Who will succeed Mark Cavendish as BBC Sports Personality of the Year
Bradley Wiggins –
In any ‘normal’ year, Wiggins would have been a shoo-in and,
indeed, some bookmakers did pay out when he took the Olympic cycling time trial
gold to add to his unprecedented Tour de France win.
But unfortunately for popular champion Wiggins, his
brilliant Tour victory – the first by a Briton – has been rather overshadowed
by what’s happened since.
Nonetheless, he remains the favourite with those who
appreciate the magnitude of his achievements in France and also the almost
effortless nature of his Olympic gold.
Popular Champion: Bradley Wiggins became the first Briton to win the Tour de France in July (left) and then rounded off a magnificent summer by taking gold in the Olympic time trial in London (right)
Andy Murray – Odds:
He’d already had his greatest year; becoming the first
Briton to reach the men’s final at Wimbledon since 1938. And thought that ended
in defeat to Roger Federer, Murray played like a man inspired to take gold at
the Olympics, the first Brit to do this since 1908.
But, perhaps concerned that he hadn’t done enough, he
scratched another itch on Monday night by becoming the first player from these
shores to win a Grand Slam in 76 years. His incredible five-set win over Novak
Djokovic at the US Open will be, we hope, the first of many.
The wait is over! Andy Murray's triumph at the US Open ended a 76-year wait for a British Grand Slam champion
Mo Farah – Odds:
Quite a year for Mo Farah – who won two Olympic golds on
successive Saturday nights in the 5,000 metres and the 10,000 metres, saw his
wife give birth to twin daughters, inspired a pose called the ‘Mobot’ and beat
The Cube to raise 250,000 for his charity.
On the track, his double golds confirmed his reputation
as the best long distance runner on the planet today, a brilliant race
tactician and an athlete in possession of a deadly kick in the final two laps.
I don't believe it! Mo Farah reacts after winning the Olympic 5,000m final, his second gold in London
Jessica Ennis –
Few British athletes felt the weight of public
expectation going in to the Olympics as Ennis, the poster girl of the Games.
But she not only delivered the anticipated gold medal, but dominated the
She got a flying start in the hurdles, setting a new
British record, and didn’t look back – recording her best first day score and
a succession of times and distances that would have placed her
respectably in the actual events.
Ennis storming through the field to win the final event,
the 800 metres, was one of the seminal moments of the London Games.
Golden girl: Jessica Ennis is all smiles after winning her heptathlon gold
David Weir – Odds:
Whatever the distance, wheelchair racer David Weir mastered
it at the London Paralympics. His four golds came in the 800m, the 1500m, the
5000m and, incredibly, the marathon as well.
With ten Paralympic medals now to his name, including six
golds, Weir has a strong claim to be considered the greatest wheelchair athlete
ever and his relatively short odds in this list confirm that.
Precious metal: Quadruple gold medal winning Paralympian David Weir at the victory parade on Monday
Ellie Simmonds –
She has four Paralympic gold medals, two other Paralympic
medals and ten world championship golds – so it’s hard to believe swimmer Ellie
Simmonds is just 17.
One of Britain’s most high profile and popular Paralympic champions,
Simmonds again captured the imagination in London and is among the favourites to win
the main Sports Personality Awards having won the Young Personality award in
Brit special: Ellie Simmonds with the four medals she won in the swimming pool at the London Paralympics
Sir Chris Hoy –
You win two more Olympic gold medals for your collection
in London, taking your overall tally to six and in the process become the most
decorated ever British Olympian – and yet your Sports Personality odds are
Hoy’s Velodrome successes in the Team Sprint and the
Keirin smashed doubts that at the age of 36, he was past his best, and despite
having achieved everything in his sport, Hoy has no plans to wind down yet.
Driving force: Sir Chris Hoy pushes for the line in the Keirin, one of his two gold medals at London 2012
Sarah Storey – Odds:
A quite incredible Paralympian, Storey now has a
collection of 22 medals, half of them golds, across two sports and two decades.
Her win in the C5 Individual Pursuit started Britain’s Paralympic gold rush and
she went on to win the Time Trial in the Velodrome and then the Individual road
time trial and road race outside it.
And she only made the switch to cycling from swimming in
2005 after winning all there was to win in the pool. Six cycling golds confirm
it was the right decision and Storey is undoubtedly one of the greatest of all
Hoe favourite: Sarah Storey is cheered home to gold in the Individual C4-5 road race at the Paralympics
Jonnie Peacock –
A life and career transformed in under 11 seconds,
Peacock led from start to finish to take gold in the T44 100m final, setting a
Paralympic record in the process. And unlike anyone else in either the Olympics
or the Paralympics, Britain’s own bladerunner had 80,000 fans in the Olympic
Stadium singing his name in chorus.
The 19-year-old Peacock left his idol Oscar Pistorius in
his wake and, at such a young age, this is surely just the beginning of his
Here's Jonnie! Peacock storms home in the T44 100m final
Ben Ainslie –
So dominant in his class for so long, Ainslie – the nice
guy of sport – had to get a bit angry to overcome the challenge of Denmark’s
Jonas Hogh-Christensen, win his fourth Olympic gold and become the most
decorated sailor in history.
But despite such phenomenal excellence over 12 years,
which ranks him alongside the rowers Sir Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent,
Ainslie is an outsider for the Sports Personality at 150-1.
On fire! Ben Ainslie took a fourth consecutive Olympic gold by winning the Finn class in Weymouth
Some of the other contenders:
150-1 Greg Rutherford, Rory McIlroy; 200-1 Alistair Brownlee, Charlotte Dujardin, Hannah Cockroft, Jason Kenny, Laura Trott, Victoria Pendleton
All odds supplied by William Hill