This Sunday, 14th December, is the night of the BBC’s annual Sports Personality of the year awards. The main award, recently won by moody Scottish (sorry “British”) tennis ace Andy Murray in 2013 and Tour-De-France winning cyclist, plus occasional Paul Weller impersonator, Bradley Wiggins in 2012, is always extremely competitive and this year is no exception. So without further ado, may I present the nominees:
Gareth Bale, 25, Footballer:
This peerless Welshman, last year, became the world’s most expensive footballer. This year he has cemented his place in the nominees by enjoying an incredible debut season with Real Madrid. Scoring 22 goals, he underlined his importance to the Spanish club by scoring the winning goal in the Copa Del Rey final and becoming the first Welshman to score in the Champions League final. He was also named the Welsh footballer of the year for a record fourth time.
Charlotte Dujardin, 29, Dressage:
A female equestrian rider who made history this year by winning two gold medals at the World Equestrian Games and therefore becoming the first British rider to be Olympic, World and European champion at the same time. She also won the London stage of the dressage world cup at Olympia and holds the world record in all three elements of her sport.
Carl Froch, 37, Boxing:
Carl Froch retained his IBF and WBA super-middleweight titles this year in an incredible fight against bitter rival George Groves. In front of a record 80,000 fans at Wembley Stadium, Froch knocked out Groves in the eighth round with a shot that will go down as one of the best punches seen in British boxing history.
Kelly Gallagher and Charlotte Evans, 29 & 23, Alpine Skiing:
Gallagher and her guide Evans made history this year by becoming the first ever competitors from the United Kingdom to win a Winter Paralympics gold by winning the visually impaired Super-G event in Sochi, Russia. They completed the course in one minute 28.72 seconds and were consequently awarded MBEs for their services to sport for the visually impaired.
Lewis Hamilton, 29, Formula 1:
Lewis Hamilton this year clinched the formula one world championship in stunning fashion at Abu Dhabi, and by doing so became the first British driver for over 40 years to win a second title. In what turned out to be a fantastic and extremely gripping season, Lewis also surpassed Nigel Mansell’s British record of 31 grand prix victories.
Rory Mcllroy, 25, Golf:
Golfing’s number one player cemented his place at the top this year with another two major titles under his belt and some incredible performances. He won the Open Championship to make him the first European to win 3 different major championships in the modern era. He also helped Team Europe retain the ryder cup and became the first British player to win back to back major tournaments by claiming a second US PGA title.
Jo Pavey, 41, Athletics:
Veteran distance runner Jo Pavey won her first major championship gold medal in the 10,000m in the European Championships this year, held in Zurich. In doing so she became the oldest ever female champion and completed a fantastic comeback year in which she also won the British 10,000m championships 8 months after giving birth to her second child.
Adam Peaty, 19, Swimming:
Young Swimmer Adam Peaty broke on to the aquatic scene this year with a medal laden 2014. He won two golds and a silver in the Glasgow Commonwealth games and went on to even better things in the Europeans in Berlin, during which he won 4 golds and broke the 50m breaststroke world record.
Max Whitlock, 21, Gymnastics:
An impressive year for young gymnast Whitlock, in which he picked up a host of medals in the Europeans, World, British championships and the Commonwealth games. He took home gold at the Europeans, 3 golds, a silver and a bronze at the Commonwealths and equalled the best all-round finish by a Briton in the World championships by winning a Silver medal.
Lizzy Yarnold, 26, Skeleton:
Lizzy dominated the women’s skeleton event at this years Winter Olympics to win Great Britain’s only gold medal of the games. The Kent born athlete led the field throughout the event and her winning margin of 0.97 seconds became the largest ever. On top of this she also won the World Cup title in 2013-14 podiuming in 7 out of 8 races and winning 4 gold medals.
Currently the betting markets are as follows:
Rory Mcllroy 2/5
Lewis Hamilton 2/1
Jo Pavey 40/1
Gareth Bale 60/1
Carl Froch 150/1
Charlotte Dujardin 200/1
Lizzy Yarnold 300/1
Adam Peaty, Kelly Gallagher and Max Whitlock all 500/1
Don’t forget to tune into the BBC’s Sports Personality of the year Sunday December 14th 2014 to find out who wins the grand prize.
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