Main Menu
Top of Page
  | Home   | Index   | Info   | This Week   | Poker   | News   | Email

Welcome to the News desk.

Jockey Tony McCoy favourite to win BBC sports personality award 29/11/2010
Anna Kessel

After Ryan Giggs unexpectedly stole the show to claim the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award last year, footballers are conspicuously absent on the 10-strong BBC shortlist in 2010. That will come as no surprise following England's disastrous World Cup performance in South Africa and a myriad unwelcome sex-scandal headlines; instead the shortlist represents the major triumphs of the year – from the Ryder Cup winners Graeme McDowell and Lee Westwood to Jessica Ennis's domination of the heptathlon and the pentathlon for a second year in a row.

It is the jumps jockey Tony McCoy, though, who is the bookmakers' tip to take the BBC title. In April the 36-year-old finally won the Grand National at his 15th attempt, adding this piece of silverware to an incredible collection that includes a record 15 champion jumps jockey titles and more than 3,000 winners. Should McCoy also win the BBC award, the votes will no doubt reflect his entire career achievements as much as recognising a successful 12 months – a sentiment that would echo Giggs's victory in 2009.

McDowell is likely to be a frontrunner in the voting after a scintillating year from the golfer that included winning the US Open – the first European to do so since Tony Jacklin in 1970 – and helping to clinch victory over the US Ryder Cup team in October. McDowell played in the final singles match of the competition, hitting a birdie on the 16th green to secure his lead and retain it in a match that was all about holding his nerve.

Should the England bowler Graeme Swann perform well at the Ashes in the lead-up to the vote he could swing the poll – his Twitter feed has almost 100,000 followers. The cyclist Mark Cavendish, who also made the shortlist last year, repeated his success in 2010 with an impressive five stage wins in the Tour de France and a points jersey at the Tour of Spain, the first Briton in 21 years to earn the sprinters' title at a grand tour.

Only two women are on the list, which some may feel is a slight on the many British sportswomen making their mark in world-class competition. Beth Tweddle, who came third in the 2006 BBC poll, won her third world title this year, confirming her status as Britain's most successful gymnast in history, surely deserved a mention, as did the road cyclist Emma Pooley, who won her first world title in the time trial in September along with a string of other prominent races to stake her claim. But Ennis and Amy Williams certainly deserve their places.

Following on from Ennis's world title last year the Sheffield-based heptathlete was once again in winning form in 2010, claiming the world indoor and European titles, setting championship records in each, while Williams's Olympic gold in the skeleton was the first individual British Winter Olympics gold medal in 30 years.

At 50 years old, Phil "The Power" Taylor, who was crowned world champion for the 15th time in his career this year, is the oldest personality on the list, while the 16-year-old diver Tom Daley – twice the winner in the Young Sports Personality of the Year contest – is the youngest having secured individual and pairs gold medals at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

The only name on the list that may cause some consternation is the boxer David Haye, whose world title fight against an ageing Audley Harrison this month was widely scorned.

The awards ceremony will be held in Birmingham on Sunday, 19 December.

The Sports Personality shortlist :Mark Cavendish, Tom Daley, Jessica Ennis, David Haye, Tony McCoy, Graeme McDowell, Graeme Swann, Phil Taylor, Lee Westwood, Amy Williams