Olympics throw personality of year vote wide open - Sheffield golfer Danny Willett among outsiders

Mo Farah with his Rio gold medals for victory in the Men's 5000m and 10000m. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.
Mo Farah with his Rio gold medals for victory in the Men's 5000m and 10000m. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.
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Competition for the 2016 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award looks fiercer than ever after Team GB’s astounding haul of 67 medals at the Rio Olympics.

We assess the main contenders for December’s prize based on the latest odds supplied by bookmaker William Hill.

1 Andy Murray (Tennis) 11/10: Could become the first person to win the award in successive years? The Scot, who picked up the trophy in 2013 and 2015 as well as finishing third in 2012, tops the list of current favourites following a fantastic year. He won his second Wimbledon title in July, took Olympic gold a month later and finished runner-up at the Australian and French Opens. He recorded a career-best winning run of 22 games before being beaten in the final of the Cincinnati Masters. And he could yet secure further success at the US Open or in the Davis Cup.

2 Mo Farah (Athletics) 2/1: The 33-year-old was unlucky to miss out on a place in the top three at the Sports Personality awards following London 2012 but must be in with a strong shout this year. Victory in the 5,000 metres and 10,000m in Rio saw him claim the ‘double double’ as he became the first athlete to win both races at consecutive Olympic Games since Finland’s Lasse Viren in 1976.

3 Laura Trott (Cycling) 7/1: Britain’s most successful female Olympian of all time after retaining gold in both the team pursuit and the omnium in Rio. Along with Joanna Rowsell-Shand, Elinor Barker and Katie Archibald, the 24-year-old set a new world record in the final of the team competition against the USA before making history with a convincing win in her multi-discipline solo event.

4 Jason Kenny (Cycling), 9/1: The other half of cycling’s golden couple, Kenny sits just behind fiancee Trott in the list of favourites after making history of his own in Brazil. Golds in the team sprint, individual sprint and keirin took his total to six - following one in Beijing and two in London - to make him Britain’s most decorated Olympian alongside Sir Chris Hoy.

5 Max Whitlock (Gymnastics) 14/1: On an unforgettable day for the 23-year-old, he won Britain’s first ever Olympic gymnastics gold with success in the men’s floor event before returning to pip team-mate Louis Smith to the pommel horse title. Whitlock’s double gold means he now has five Olympic medals in total.

6 Gareth Bale (Football) 20/1: The world’s second most expensive footballer had a summer to remember as he led Wales at their first international tournament in 58 years. He scored in all three group games at Euro 2016 during a memorable run to the semi-finals, which included a 3-1 success over much-fancied Belgium. In club football, the 27-year-old Real Madrid forward won his second Champions League title since leaving for Spain in 2013.

7= Anthony Joshua (Boxing), 40/1: Became IBF heavyweight champion in April. The London 2012 gold medallist took just two rounds to beat Charles Martin.

7= Chris Froome (Cycling) 40/1: Kenya-born Froome retained his Tour de France title after winning the race for the third time at the end of July and, just over two weeks later, he took bronze in the Olympic time trial.

9= Kate Richardson-Walsh (Hockey) 50/1: Team GB’s closing ceremony flag-bearer finally got her hands on gold at her fourth Olympics, bettering the bronze picked up in 2012.

9= Lewis Hamilton (Motorsport) 50/1: The 31-year-old is currently 19 points ahead of F1 nearest challenger Nico Rosberg as he looks to be crowned F1 king for the third successive year and become only the fifth man in history to claim the title four times.

9= Maddie Hinch (Hockey) 50/1: Another member of Team GB’s gold-winning women’s hockey team, goalkeeper Hinch put in a player of the match performance in the final against reigning Olympic champions Holland.

9= Nick Skelton (Equestrian) 50/1: At 58 Britain’s oldest Olympic medallist since rifle shooter Jerry Millner in 1908.

Other notable contenders: Adam Peaty (Swimming), 66/1; Jamie Vardy (Football), 66/1; Nicola Adams (Boxing), 66/1; Danny Willett (Golf), 100/1.