Wiggins installed as hot favourite to win BBC Sports Personality of the Year award

Monday, 26 November 2012
By Duncan Mackay 

Bradley Wiggins wins London 2012 time trialNovember 26 - Bradley Wiggins is the overwhelming favourite to win the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year after he was among the seven men and five women chosen on the shortlist for this year's award, which is the most prestigious in British sport.

Following the controversy surrounding the all-male shortlist of ten which was chosen for last year's award - won by cyclist Mark Cavendish, the world road race champion - the BBC decided to revamp the way the list was decided this year.

An expert panel was put in place, consisting of BBC officials, newspaper editors and former nominees such as Sir Steve Redgrave, and the shortlist extended to 12, which even then has seen some of the most successful competitors from London 2012 snubbed.

Wiggins, the first Briton to win Tour de France and the Olympic time trial gold medallist, is the 4/9 odds on favourite, ahead of Olympic 5,000 and 10,000 metres champion Mo Farah, who is the second favourite at 5/1. 

Andy Murray, who enjoyed a breakthrough year by winning the US Open and men's singles at London 2012, is third favourite at 9/1.

Jessica Ennis is rated at 10/1 after winning the heptathlon at London 2012 while multiple Paralympic gold medallists David Weir and Ellie Simmonds are next in the betting at 40/1 and 66/1 respectively.

Jessica Ennish with GB flagJessica Ennis is the fourth favourite to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year after winning the heptathlon at London 2012

Sir Chris Hoy, winner of the award in 2008 after winning three gold medals at Beijing and who won two more titles at London 2012 to take his total to six and become the most successful Olympian in British history, is only 150/1 to repeat his triumph this year such is the quality of the other contenders. 

Rory McIlroy, the only non-Olympic or Paralympic contender on the list, has experienced yet another phenomenal year on the golf course, including winning the PGA Championship to claim the second Major of his career, yet he is an outsider at 150/1

Other candidates for the coveted annual prize include sailor Ben Ainslie at 200/1, despite winning a fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal, and Paralympic cycling star Sarah Storey, who is at 300/1.

Women's boxing champion Nicola Adams is 350/1 and you can get 500/1 on rower Katherine Grainger, who finally won an Olympic gold medal after having to settle for silver in the three previous Games. 

But, controversially, the likes of Laura Trott and Alistair Brownlee have,been ignored.

Trott won two gold medals in the Velodrome, while Brownlee can consider himself very unlucky after becoming Britain's first Olympic triathlon champion.

The winner is due to be announced at a special live televised ceremony before a capacity crowd of 15,000 at ExCeL on December 16. 

Contact the writer of this story at duncan.mackay@insidethegames.biz
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