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Sports Personality: Who are you picking?

On Sunday the nation will decide who it wants to win the annual popularity contest that is Sports Personality of the Year. In past years viewers have been forced to scrape the barrel following barren spells of British success, with previous winners including Michael Owen and David Beckham- purely for doing their job. However 2015 has been a golden year with a myriad of winners to choose from.

In all, twelve stars have been shortlisted across a broad range of sporting codes. Below are all the serious contenders with their success highlighted and as there can only be one winner, each candidate  has reasons attached as to why they wont be victorious on Sunday night. Obviously with the luxury of hindsight the barrier to the successful one will not be applicable.

 

 Lewis Hamilton (Formula 1)

The man from Hertfordshire has been nothing short of exceptional this year, crushing all opposition before him. The raw pace he has displayed and the ease at which he has won has been nothing short of frightening all of which culminated into a third world title. The only other Brit who has won three world drivers titles is Jackie Stewart.

Why he will not win

He won the award last year and no one has ever won it in consecutive years. But why cant it change this time around? Put simply 2015 has not been a great year for Formula 1 from a fans perspective, in fairness its been pretty dire. Resulting in many fans changing channel mid race with sedate programs like Country File offering more excitement. The other reason why he should not win is he lacks any sort charisma, an important pre requisite in a personality contest.

 

 Jessica Ennis (Athletics) 

Already an Olympic Champion Jessica Ennis returned from having her first child to claim the Heptathlon world title. This occurred only 13months after giving birth, which is nothing short of astonishing. There can surely be no sports fans who would begrudge her wining the award.

Why she will not win

There is no reason why she should not. Always mild mannered, always professional- never begrudges an opponent doing well (take note Hamilton)  and never embroiled in controversy. She would be an incredibly worthy winner.

 

Chris Froome (Cycling)

This year saw Froome become the Tour de France champion for a second time. Not only did he manage this riding against a very competitive field, he had to battle against a truly hostile crowd. The man in the yellow jersey was spat at, punched and also had a bottle of urine thrown in his face because the fans believe he is doping. This belief is supported by no evidence and there were far more suspicious cases of possible cheating from riders also in the peloton. It is worth remembering that the French have not won the Tour in 30 years and so a Brit winning is an embarrassment comparable with the defeats at Crecy and Agincourt.

Why he will not win

The fall-out from the Lance Arsmstrong scandal is still radioactive and so fans will look at any cycling success as the result of doping. When analysing the winning margin it becomes clear that either Froome is clean or every rider is doped. Therefore he did not gain an advantage over his rivals and would prove an extremely worthy winner but unfortunately many will not see it this way.

 

Tyson Fury (Boxing)

The giant from Lancashire did the unthinkable in November by snatching the World heavyweight title from longstanding champion Wladimir Klitschko. Not only did he win the biggest prize in sport, he did it in the champions backyard against an opponent who was undefeated in 11 years. The gulf in class between the two protagonists was shocking with the young Fury embarrassingly showboating in front of the future hall of famer. Purely from a sporting perspective Fury would deserve the crown of Sports Personality.

Why he will not win

The man is never far from controversy and in the last few weeks has been derided as a hate figure following comments made regarding his views on homosexuality. For this he will not win. Whilst the majority would not condone what he said it is quite clear the journalist involved was seeking to trap the outspoken religious man and then condemn his words with feigned shock. . It does not seem he is a bad person though and hopefully in the future he can surround himself with an experienced PR team.

 

Andy Murray (Tennis)

Murray anchored the victorious GB team to Davies cup glory in 2015. The first time Britain has won this in 79 years. Following his major back surgery in 2013 he continues to perform at the highest level and has done for the last ten years.

Why he will not win

He won the award in 2013 and since then has not matched his incredible Olympic gold medeal, US open and Wimbledon winning streak from the end of 2012 into 2013.

 

Greg Rutherford (Athletics)

In 2015 Rutherford cemented his place as a true great of Track and Field. Already the Olympic, Commonwealth and European long jump champion, he completed the set by becoming world champion. It is even more impressive when you consider he lost his lottery funding and so built a long jump pit in his back garden to conduct most of his training from home. For Greg to triumph on Sunday would be a fitting way of recognising his previous impressive achievements.

Why he will not win

He is perhaps not a big enough name to clinch the award. That said he would deserve it if he did.

 

Mo Farrah (Athletics)

Arguably the greatest long distance runner of all time and the first person ever to pull off a triple double gold medal triumph. Having won both the 5,000m and 10,000m Olympic titles in London 2012 he did the same at the world championships a year later and repeated the feat this year. Thus making him the most worthy of winning Sports Personality alongside Froome and Jessica Ennis in the opinion of the current author.

Why he will not win

What would have probably been a foregone conclusion to the awards ceremony, Farah’s success this year has been tainted somewhat by allegations made against his coach Alberto Salazar. Who has been accused of conducting a well orchestrated doping program for some of his athletes. Although not thought to be one of the athletes implicated, to some Farrah will be guilty by association. Therefore question marks will remain over his continued success, making it harder for him to win.

 

Lizzie Armistead (Cycling)

Lizzie Armistead achieved the same feat in 2015 that won Mark Cavendish Sports Personality in 2011. She triumphed in the world road race championships. An excellent accomplishment to go with her Olympic silver medal.

Why she will not win

When Cavendish got the nod from the public four years ago, the British winning talent well was pretty dry. However this year that is not the case and it would seem almost impossible for her to win tomorrow night. That said stranger things have happened this year!

 

Honourable mentions

Whilst in no way belittling their sporting achievements the following individuals are unlikely to win tomorrow: Lucy Bronze who was instrumental in England’s incredible third place finish at the world cup; Adam Peaty won both the 50m and 100m breaststroke gold medals at the swimming world championships; Kevin Sinfield retired from Rugby league but not before winning the treble with Leeds Rhinos and Max Whitlock became the first man ever from the UK to win a world championship gold in gymnastics. The main reason for the aforementioned group unlikely to win Sports Personality of the year is that they all participate in sports mainly unknown outside of the circles of true aficionados in their respective trades.

It is clear there are numerous worthy winners of the award this year but what is less transparent is who will actually do it. It seems Sports Personality is the most open it has been for sometime. However one thing every one can be sure of is that the coach of the year will not be Jose Mourinho!

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