BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2012 Preview

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Mollie Bennett

After arguably the best year of sport for a generation, this year’s Sports Personality of the Year short-list has been extended from 10 to 12 making the award more eagerly awaited than ever.

With London 2012 Olympic Games, the first ever British Tour De France champion, Chelsea’s remarkable champions league triumph, this year’s emphatic Ryder Cup and the most dramatic end to a Premier League season ever, it is hard to think of a more spectacular year of sport.

This year Sports Personality of Year Awards is showered with inspirational Olympians but with so many amazing stories, the gong really is wide open.

Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins is the hot favourite with the bookies and after becoming the first British rider to ever win the yellow jersey, it is hard to look past him.

The side-burned Briton also picked up his seventh Olympic medal when he took gold in the Men’s Time Trail at London 2012.

Fellow cyclist and 2008 SPORY Sir Chris Hoy is also a contender after picking up gold’s in the Men’s Team Sprint and Men’s Kieren in London.

Double gold medallist Mo Farah is 4/1 after his incredible triumph in the 5,000 and 10,000 metres at the Olympic Games and after becoming only the fifth person to manage the feat; it would be no surprise if he celebrated the crown with the Mobot.

Andy Murray is third favourite after picking up his first grand slam title to win the US Open, having earlier won Olympic gold in the men’s single.

Elsewhere, Olympic Games poster-girl Jessica Ennis is backed at 8-1 and after her gold in the heptathlon, and making the shortlist three times in the last four years, Britain’s golden girl would be more than worthy of the crown.

Sailor Ben Ainsle, who won the Finn class at London 2012 and became the most decorated Olympic sailor in the process, could make a juicy bet at 150/1.

Ainsle has announced that he will not compete in Rio, meaning that he might gain a sentimental, nostalgic advantage and take the SPORTY crown.

The Weirwolf (aka David Weir) took the Paralympic Games by storm taking four gold medals in the process is a very reasonable 25/1 to win, while Ellie Simmons, winner of two gold’s, a silver and a bronze in the Paralympic swimming pool, is 50/1.

Golfer Rory McIlroy triumphed across the Atlantic as he took the US PGA title, played in Europe’s winning Ryder Cup team and the season-ending tour championship, the Irishman is an outsider at 100/1.

Female Boxer Nicola Adams became the first female fighter to win an Olympic boxing title and she is joined at 200/1 alongside quadruple Paralympic gold medal winner Sarah Storey.

Katherine Granger, who was a silver medallist at three previous Games, has arguably the most inspiring story after securing gold at the fourth time of asking, is also an outsider at 200/1.

The pure talent in this year’s shortlist meant Olympic Gold medallists Victoria Pendleton, Laura Trott, Alistair Brownlee, Greg Rutherford and Charlotte Dujardin all missed out, along with Europe’s Ryder Cup hero Ian Poulter.

The winner will be decided by a public vote on Sunday 16th December in front of 15,000 proud, patriotic and eager crowd members at London’s ExCel arena.

There will be live coverage of BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year which kicks off at 19.30, on BBC one, BBC Radio 5 live and the BBC Sport website.

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