Entertainment, Sports

From Emma Raducanu to Tyson Fury, who is in the running for BBC Sports Personality of the Year?

The BBC has unveiled the shortlist for its much-loved and occasionally controversial award for the stand-out sports person of the year – and there are a few surprises

There’s no Lewis Hamilton, for example. The Formula One ace was aiming for a record-breaking eighth World Drivers’ Championship title at Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix but the Briton was quite literally pipped at the post by rival Max Verstappen, with whom he was tied on points. The Duel in the Desert turned into a Farce in the Slow Lane thanks to a contentious decision by the race director and the intervention of a safety car with just a few laps to go. Would Hamilton have made the list had he won? Hard to believe not.

So who is on the list?

Among the six sports stars honoured are boxer Tyson Fury, who beat Deontay Wilder in a sensational 11th round knock-out to regain his World Boxing Council title in October; Tom Daley, who dived his way to Olympic gold in the delayed Tokyo Games; Adam Peaty, another hero of the pool, who triumphed in the 100 metres breast-stroke and became the first Briton to defend an Olympic title; and footballer Raheem Stirling, whose three goals at the Euro 2020 championship helped England reach the final where lost to Italy on penalties.

No women?

Only two. They are cyclist Dame Sarah Storey, who became the UK’s most successful Paralympian of all time with a 17th Paralympics Gold in her eighth games, and, last but not least, where-did-she-spring-from? tennis star Emma Raducanu. Aged just 18 and fresh from sitting her A levels, Raducanu followed an exceptional Wimbledon with a quite extraordinary win at the US Open in September when she beat Leylah Fernandez in two sets. The last British woman to even make the final was Virginia Wade in 1968.

When are the awards?

This 68th iteration of the awards is on Sunday December 19 and will be broadcast live on BBC One. Lined up to present the awards are Gary Lineker, Clare Balding, Gabby Logan and Alex Scott and also up for grabs are the Young Sports Personality of the Year, Team and Coach of the Year, World Sport Star of the Year, Lifetime Achievement and Unsung Hero.

And the favourite?

It is voted for by the public so anything can happen. But in terms of OMG achievements, it’s hard to see past Emma Raducanu for what was a jaw-dropping night of determination, pluck, graft and brilliance.

Anything else?

In case through some oversight we neglected to mention it, England lost the Euro 2020 final to Italy on penalties.

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