With 2019 serving up countless memorable moments from the world of sport, this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year is likely to be as tightly-contested as ever this weekend.
Cricket World Cup hero Ben Stokes starts off as the runaway favourite to land the honour. As we’ve seen in previous contests, however, things can change quickly on SPOTY night once the ceremony gets underway.
Here’s our look at all six contenders to take the crown on Sunday evening.
Sports Personality Of The Year – Who Will Be Crowned This Year’s Champion?
BEN STOKES – 13/100
Stokes’ miracle in Marylebone in the Cricket World Cup Final back in July will go down as one of the greatest individual sporting displays of all time. It’s little surprise, then, that the England cricketer has been installed as the overwhelming favourite in the SPOTY odds to take this year’s title.
The 28-year-old showed bags of character when all looked lost to almost single-handedly deliver England a maiden CWC title. A gutsy 135 to help England to an unlikely third Test Ashes win also doesn’t harm his cause. Stokes will take some stopping.
DINA ASHER-SMITH – 10/1
The golden girl of British Athletics could be the value bet if Stokes fails to shine with the watching SPOTY audience. With a dearth of talent in terms of bona fide British hopes for next year’s Olympics, Asher-Smith looks the exception to the rule after a world-class 2019. The 24-year-old became the first British woman to claim 200m gold in the World Championships and looks to be timing her run to Tokyo expertly.
Her outstanding achievements aside, Asher-Smith’s natural charisma in-front of the camera could also help sway undecided SPOTY voters.
Don’t rule out a surprise win.
RAHEEM STERLING – 22/1
The Man City star continues to go from strength-to-strength after the best year of his career to date. The 25-year-old claimed a memorable domestic treble with the Citizens and scooped the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year award.
This was the year he also arguably stepped up an extra gear in an England shirt, scoring eight goals in nine games to help Gareth Southgate’s side qualify for Euro 2020. He would become the first footballer to claim the prize since Ryan Giggs in 2009.
ALUN-WYN JONES – 22/1
The sentimental choice in this year’s vote. The 34-year-old lock forward is finally getting the wider recognition he deserves after a glittering 13-year career in a Wales shirt. It’s also one that has got better with age. The veteran skipper led his side to Grand Slam victory in this year’s Six Nations and became his country’s most capped player in Japan during this year’s Rugby World Cup.
A strong patriotic vote from Welsh supporters could power him into the reckoning.
LEWIS HAMILTON – 28/1
Can Hamilton add a second SPOTY to his trophy cabinet? The British driver has had another stellar season, claiming a third consecutive title, becoming a six-time world champion and breaking the F1 record for pole positions.
However, Hamilton could end up becoming a victim of his own success. With the driver finishing either first or second in the SPOTY voting four times during his career, voter fatigue could play its part with the British driver’s exceptional talent almost priced in when it comes to picking this year’s winner.
KATARINA JOHNSON-THOMPSON – 66/1
This was the year KJT finally joined the ranks of the all-time greats and delivered on her early promise. After plenty of false dawns, the popular Liverpudlian finally landed outdoor gold in the world heptathlon at the World Athletics Championships in Qatar. She even smashed Jessica Ennis-Hill’s British record in the process. KJT will be looking to surpass her old rival’s achievements yet again by claiming the SPOTY title.
The current betting suggests her achievements are likely to be crowded out this year. However, she may not have to wait too long for SPOTY success. With a defining Tokyo 2020 Olympics on the horizon, she could be the early price value bet looking ahead to the 2020 Sports Personality of the Year odds.
Britain loves an Olympics national treasure. A big year awaits.
Odds correct at time of writing but may be subject to change.
Who are you backing to win this year’s Sports Personality of the Year?
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