On the 17th November, the BBC announced the contenders for this year’s Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY). Big names include Lewis Hamilton, Anthony Joshua, Johanna Konta and Harry Kane. The 12 contenders come from a range of sports such as, short track speed skating, para-athletics, cricket, and taekwondo. There are certainly some athletes who stand out from the crowd, and will no doubt feature in the top 3 awards, but is it time we gave the award to someone playing a lesser-known sport
Andy Murray has won the award consecutively in 2015 and 2016 following his success at Wimbledon. Lewis Hamilton then won it in 2014 after winning another Formula 1 championship. In the past 10 years, only males have won the main prize. So should there be a change here too? This year’s line up features Elise Christie, ten-time European short track speed skating champion, Johanna Konta, a top 5 tennis player, Anya Shrubsole, the World Cup-winning cricketer and Bianca Walkden, double European and World taekwondo champion. It’s not like the female nominees are short of achievements in comparison to their male counterparts. When compared to the male sports stars up for the prize, however, it seems as if the female nominees’ chances of winning are very slim. Anthony Joshua, Mo Farah and Chris Froome are all amongst the favourites following an outstanding year in their respective sports.
After winning his fourth Formula 1 championship, Lewis Hamilton has the chance to win his second Sports Personality of the Year award, following his first in 2014. Due to the fact he has already won this award for the exact same reason, bookies have put Lewis down the pecking order despite his achievements. His chances of placing 2nd or 3rd however, remain high, but it’s not worth betting on.
Harry Kane has had an incredible year both with Tottenham Hotspur and individually. 2017 has seen his goal to game ratio almost equal 1 to 1 and become England’s and Tottenham’s star player – a measure of his consistence and quality. Often compared to the best strikers and players in the world, England have found themselves an absolute gem. It has been a long time since England have had a player as prolific as Harry Kane, and the future certainly looks bright for the talented striker.
Without a doubt, Anthony Joshua is the number one favourite to win the award. Continuing his unbeaten boxing career, Joshua participated in arguably the biggest boxing match in years. Taking to the ring with Wladimir Klitschko made for a huge spectacle. Joshua, after being knocked down, managed to claw his way up to knock down Klitschko in an event that captured the world. Joshua has become a national treasure to England and boxing, and will be quietly confident of bagging the award.
Despite these big name stars, there are plenty of underdogs in this year’s line up too. Mo Farah ended his career covered in gold medals as he produced, yet again, special performances on the track. Adam Peaty became Britain’s new swimming sensation following his success in the water at the World Championships this past summer. And Johanna Konta made her mark on the tennis stage reaching this year’s semi-final at Wimbledon.
It’s fair to say this year could be a close battle for 2nd and 3rd, but we think the number 1 spot has a clear favourite, and he goes by the name of Anthony Joshua!