And the nominees are...

By Jovan Belev Source: Global Times Published: 2020/12/3 15:48:40

Sports Personality of the Year for 2020

Ronnie O'Sullivan Photo: IC

The BBC Sports Personality of the Year shortlist has been announced and it honors six of the outstanding athletes of the last 12 months.

Lewis Hamilton, fresh from winning a record-equalling seventh FIA Formula One Drivers' Championship, has been installed as the favorite to lift the crown, which would be his second.

Behind Hamilton in this race are boxer Tyson Fury and ageless snooker player Ronnie O' Sullivan, with the list rounded out by Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson and England cricketer Stuart Broad.

Jockey Hollie Doyle, 24, is the sole woman on the shortlist.

Doyle - who became the first woman to ride five winners on one race card at Windsor in August - exclaimed her delight at being nominated.

"It is a huge privilege to be nominated for such an illustrious award," she said. "It's hard to get my head around being nominated alongside the likes of Lewis Hamilton, but I'm really pleased that horse racing has been recognized alongside these sports."

The last jockey to win the SPOTY award, AP McCoy paid tribute to Doyle.

"Hollie has got on with her job quietly, confidently, and successfully. She seems more interested in walking the walk than talking the talk," he said.

"She lets her achievements do the talking and there's a lot to learn from Hollie. She keeps her head down, she works hard and understands the need to make herself better all the time." 

Doyle though was more focused on what the nomination would do for the sport.

"Racing can be in its own little bubble as such, so hopefully this might help to open the door to a wider audience."

That was a sentiment echoed by veteran O'Sullivan, 44. 

"It was exciting to get the nomination," he told Eurosport. "I grew up watching it on the TV so it's a great honor to be part of the final six this year.

"Anything like this is great for snooker so I'm happy to be in a position to be nominated and if it helps snooker and grows the popularity and elevates it then I'm very happy and honored."

"The Rocket" finally made it to a shortlist after 28 years hunched over the baize, something he joked about when speaking to Eurosport.

"I didn't tell anyone because I still wasn't sure if I was going to get nominated or not.

"They asked me about 25 years ago and said you are in the final 10 and they came down and did a ­couple of hours with me and I wasn't in the final 10! So it was only tonight, when they put it out on social media and everything, that I fully accepted I was in the running."

O'Sullivan was congratulated by fellow snooker star Judd Trump. "Very happy to see BBC Sport SPOTY recognize Ronnie O' Sullivan for his great contribution to snooker. Long time coming. It's fantastic for players and fans to see the sport receiving the attention it deserves," Trump wrote on Twitter.

Jordan Henderson has filled his personal trophy cabinet in the last 12 months, adding an English Premier League winners medal to his UEFA Champions League medal from the season before. Since Liverpool ended their long wait to lift the league, Henderson has been honoured individually, too.

The former Sunderland player was named as the Football Writers' Footballer of the Year and a nominee for the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year.

He was happy to be named among the latest list of nominees. 

"An honor to be nominated for BBC SPOTY," the Liverpool captain tweeted.

That enthusiasm was echoed by England cricketer Broad. "Such a huge honor to be nominated for BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2020," Broad wrote. "Right, back to the cricket nets!"

So who will the British public vote for?

Stuart Broad, Cricket

The 34-year-old was dropped for England's opener against the West Indies in the summer but then came back into the side and roared back into life as England wrapped up wins. He passed the 500-wicket mark during those two wins over the Windies and has moved to seventh in the all-time wicket takers.

Hollie Doyle, 24, Horse Racing

The youngest on the list and the only female, Doyle has had a remarkable year. This included her first win at the prestigious Royal Ascot and that remarkable day in August where she rode five winners in the same day. Smashed her own record for number of wins by a British woman in a race year. The Sunday Times named her their Sportswoman of the Year for 2020.

Tyson Fury, Boxing

The man named after Mike Tyson performed his own remarkable comeback with a win over Deontay Wilder in February that must remove any lingering questions over Fury's place in the heavyweight canon. Fury outboxed the "Bronze Bomber" from the outset to back up his claim that he won the original meeting in December 2018 - one where he picked himself up from the canvas twice. All the more remarkable considering his battle with drink, drugs and depression ­- one which he is never shy to talk about.

Lewis Hamilton, Motor Racing

The question around Hamilton is no longer whether he is great but whether he is now the greatest of them all. He surpassed Michael Schumacher's all-time race wins and the record for pole positions on the way to winning a fourth drivers' championship and a seventh overall - another of Schumacher's records that the Briton has now tied. His future with Mercedes is unclear but you cannot rule him out for winning an eighth title to stand alone.

Jordan Henderson, Football

The personification of Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool team helped them to win the first domestic title since 1990, winning by 19 points. The skipper was a vital part and was rewarded by the FWA.

Ronnie O'Sullivan, Snooker

Finally on the list, the 44-year-old romped to the World Championship. He has more event and major wins than any other player in history and has threatened to go on into his 60s.


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