Rory McIlory and Lewis Hamilton battle for Sports Personality of the Year

The world number one started the year sixth in the rankings (©GettyImages)

Lewis Hamilton and Rory McIlroy are considered the early favourites for this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Gareth Bale and boxer Carl Froch are among the other candidates 2012 winner Sir Bradley Wiggins revealed on Monday night. The event will be held at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow on December 14 and will be presented by Gary Lineker, Gabby Logan and Clare Balding.


As always, the public will choose their favourite from the ten nominees on the night but it is expected Hamilton will fight golfer McIlory in a two-horse race.

Rory McIlroy has had a wonderful year dominating the golf world with victories at The Open and the US PGA Tournament, doubling his major title tally. He also featured Europe’s Ryder Cup success and won the Race to Dubai. He could become the first golfer to win the prestigious prize since Sir Nick Faldo in 1989.

Odds on

According to Betfair the 25-year-old is a shoe-in for the prize with odds of 1/4. Meanwhile the newly crowned Formula 1 World Champion is rated at 3/1.

Hamilton’s title-winning year saw him triumph in 11 races (including five in a row) and has now won more Grand Prix than any other British driver in the history of the sport. He had a fierce fight for the championship with Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg that went down to the final race last weekend but Hamilton dominated from start to finish and becomes the fourth in an elite list of Brits who have been crowned World Champion more than once.


Leading the female charge is Jo Pavey, the 41-year-old is ranked at 40/1 but her achievements are no less remarkable. She won European Championship gold at 40 years old in the 10,000m and bronze in the Commonwealth Games at 5,000m. She would be the first woman to win SPOTY for eight years.

The published list is the first not to feature a single cyclist since 2007.

The 10 nominees are:

  • Gareth Bale (Football)
  • Charlotte Dujardin (Dressage)
  • Jo Pavey (Athletics)
  • Rory McIlory (Golf)
  • Adam Peaty (Swimming)
  • Lizzy Yarnold (Skeleton)
  • Max Whitlock (Gymnastics)
  • Kelly Gallagher and guide Charlotte Evans (Skiing)
  • Lewis Hamilton (Formula 1)
  • Carl Froch (Boxing)
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