The 60th Sports Personality of the Year contenders have just been nominated and one
of the ten nominees will be crowned the 2013 winner on Sunday 15 December at
the Leeds First Direct Arena in front of a capacity crowd of around 12,000.

Despite notable absences from sports such as boxing, football and Formula One - the list is full of great achievers.

Below I pick out my top five potential winners of the award this year.

Andy Murray (Tennis)

What can you say about the Scotsman that hasn’t already been said? His historic victory at Wimbledon ended the nation's agonising 77-year wait for a men's singles winner.

Over the last two years Murray has developed into the darling of the Centre Court and this victory was the culmination of a lot of hard work. He has opened himself up emotionally to the public and this was a major step for him to overcome, probably just as difficult for him as
capturing the Wimbledon title.

Murray deserves the Sports Personality title this year but at times it is questionable whether he has the support of the nation, but I am sure the whole of Scotland will be backing their man and that is why I believe he is the frontrunner for the award this year.

Mo Farah (Athletics)

In contrast to Murray, Mo Farah is hugely liked and respected across the country. He was one of the icons of the London Olympics in 2012 and has continued his success this year by achieving double gold at this year's World Championships in the 5,000m and 10,000m.

Farah has an endearing smile which the nation has latched on to but is also a devout family man. This could be the last we see of Farah on the track as he looks to continue his career as a marathon runner.

Chris Froome (Cycling)

Cycling is on a crest of a wave after unrivalled success in recent years. Froome continued Britain's success in the Tour De France by being crowned Champion on the Champs Elyssee in July in what is the most gruelling endurance race for cyclists.

Bradley Wiggins' success in 2012, along with the cycling team's success at the Olympics has given cycling in this country a huge boost particularly considering the criticism of the sport in the wake of drug taking and the Lance Armstrong affair.

Froome has often been regarded as one of the best cyclists and this year he has emerged out of the shadows of Wiggins to dominate the world. Could there be consecutive cycling SPOTY winners?  

Sir Ben Ainslie (Sailing)

When you are struggling in the America's Cup and you need help then why not ask for help from Britain's greatest ever sailing star.

Ainslie masterminded one of the greatest ever comebacks in the history of the competition.

Trailing 8-1 his Oracle Team did the almost impossible by coming from behind to win 9-8. This surely ranks as one of the greatest ever comeback in the history of sport - not just sailing.

Despite this achievement SPOTY is sometimes based on the popularity of the sport and sailing, despite Ainslie's heroics over the years, is not the most popular.

AP McCoy (Horse Racing)

4,000 winners later and AP McCoy is still going strong. Racing is a hugely popular sport in this country and this unprecedented achievement deserves recognition on the national stage. AP has dedicated his life to horse racing and like most of the sports men and women nominated this year he has to dedicate his life to something he loves and has been rewarded
with this great achievement.

Whilst I don't believe he will win the overall award, the fact that he has been shortlisted is an accolade for AP and the sport as a whole. 

There is no doubt the other five contenders deserve to be mentioned for their achievements - Ian Bell, Christine Ohuruogu, Hannah Cockroft, Justin Rose and Leigh Halfpenny - and they all have the potential to be victorious on December 15.

Bell and Halfpenny have been the stand out achievers in their team sports. Bell was England's most outstanding player as they held on to The Ashes against Australia and Leigh Halfpenny was the British and Irish Lions star in their triumphant tour in Australia. Justin Rose won his first major at the US Open and Cockcroft and Ohuruogu both excelled in Athletics.

All the nominees deserve to be nominated for their outstanding achievements but I can't see further than Andy Murray as the eventual winner.

Just one further question - where is Dart's Phil 'The Power' Taylor when the nominations are made?


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