There have been 63 recipients of the Sports Personality of the Year award, but only 13 of these have been women.
Former equestrian world champion, Zara Tindall, was the last female athlete to win the prize in 2006, though the likes of Jessica Ennis-Hill, Dina Asher-Smith and Rebecca Adlington have all placed in the top three since then.
This year’s awards will be held at Salford’s MediaCity on 19th December and will celebrate 12 months of engrossing sporting action, which has included the Olympics, Paralympics and Euro 2020.
The nominations are yet to be announced, but there are a number of women’s sports stars that are deserving of recognition.
Fran Kirby was named the Women’s Super League Player of the Season after helping Chelsea retain their title.
Sophia Dunkley starred in the inaugural season of The Hundred and became the first black woman to ever play Test cricket for England.
Meanwhile, Poppy Cleall was named the Six Nations Player of the Year as England won the newly formatted Championship in April.
All of these stars have enjoyed noteworthy years, but may still find themselves snubbed of this year’s shortlist if betting odds are anything to go by.
We’ve therefore taken a look at the top five female contenders this year, according to bookmakers –– as per information from oddschecker.
Charlotte Dujardin (100/1)
Dujardin claimed a record-breaking sixth Olympic medal in the individual dressage at Tokyo 2020, becoming Britain’s joint most successful female Olympian, alongside Laura Kenny.
The Brit secured bronze with her horse Gio –– adding to her other bronze, plus a silver and three golds.
Having competed in three Olympics and won multiple elite titles during her career, Dujardin has been described as the dominant dressage rider of her era.
Laura Muir (100/1)
Muir claimed silver in the 1500m at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo –– breaking her own British record, that was previously held by Dame Kelly Holmes.
The Scot is one of Britain’s most successful distance runners ever, having won gold at the European Championships in 2018.
Laura Kenny (66/1)
While Dujardin became Britain’s most successful female British Olympian for a period in Tokyo, Kenny later equalled the same tally.
The cyclist is the only woman to win gold at three successive Olympics though, having finished first in the madison alongside Katie Archibald this year.
Kenny’s husband, Jason, holds the same record on the men’s side and together they are the most successful married couple in Olympic history.
Sarah Storey (50/1)
Storey claimed her 16th and 17th Paralympic gold medals in Tokyo this year –– overtaking former record holder Mike Kenny’s tally of 16 golds.
The Brit now has a remarkable 28 Paralympic medals in total, across two sports, having competed in swimming initially, before making the transition to cycling.
In total, the 43-year-old has competed in eight Paralympics, dating back to Barcelona in 1992.
Emma Raducanu (1/25)
Raducanu is the overwhelming favourite to win this year’s award.
The teenager became the first qualifier ever to win a tennis Grand Slam after beating Canada’s Leylah Fernandez at the US Open last month.
Having started the competition ranked 150th in the world, the 18-year-old is now the new British number one and is closing in on the top 20.
Her historic victory has catapulted her into the limelight and attracted widespread media attention. The Brit attended the esteemed Met Gala recently and has signed an endorsement deal with jeweller Tiffany to be their new brand ambassador.
While she is widely tipped to scoop the prestigious prize, Raducanu may well be absent from this year’s ceremony as she is scheduled to be in Abu Dhabi at the time of broadcast.
If the US Open winner does scoop the award then, she may have to follow in the footsteps of fellow British tennis star, Andy Murray, who has twice accepted the prize from overseas in 2013 and 2016.News Now - Sport News