Olympic and Paralympic heroes dominate ‘SPOTY’ list

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The 12-strong shortlist for the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year award has been announced, and in contrast to last year’s all-male list there are five women who have been nominated.

Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic heroes dominate the list, with golfer Rory McIlroy the only one of the dozen names not to have won medals at London 2012.

Cyclist Bradley Wiggins is the bookmakers’ odds-on favourite after his historic triumph in the Tour de France and gold in the Olympics time trial, ahead of Mo Farah, double gold medallist in the 5,000 metres and 10,000m.

Andy Murray, who became the first British man to win a grand slam singles title for 76 years when he triumphed in the US Open and also won an Olympic gold for good measure, is ranked third favourite with the bookies just ahead of Sheffield’s Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis.

David Weir, the wheelchair athlete who won four golds in London, is ranked by bookies as the leading Paralympian.

The expert panel included national newspaper sports editors and three former award nominees, Sir Steve Redgrave, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and Denise Lewis.

The panel also selected the winners of the coach of the year, team of the year and overseas personality. The main award will be chosen by public vote and announced at the Sports Personality of the Year show from London’s ExCeL centre on December 16.

Shortlist: Nicola Adams (boxing), Ben Ainslie (sailing), Jess Ennis (athletics), Mo Farah (athletics 5,000m and 10,000m), Katherine Grainger (rowing), Sir Chris Hoy (cycling), Rory McIlroy (golf), Andy Murray (tennis), Ellie Simmonds (Paralympic swimming), Sarah Storey (Paralympic cycling), David Weir (Paralympic athlete), Bradley Wiggins (cycling).