• Sports Personality of the Year

Ennis one of five women on SPOTY list

ESPN staff
November 26, 2012
Jessica Ennis won heptathlon gold this summer © PA Photos

Jessica Ennis is one of five women to feature on the 12-strong shortlist for the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year.

There was much debate 12 months ago when the list did not contain a single female, but this year Ennis - the gold medal winner in the heptathlon at the Olympics - is joined by Nicola Adams, Katherine Grainger, Ellie Simmonds, and Sarah Storey.

The list has an Olympic feel to it, with Rory McIlroy the only person on the list not to have competed at London 2012.

Cyclist Bradley Wiggins is the bookmakers' favourite after his victories in the Tour de France and at London 2012. Double gold medallist Mo Farah is second favourite, while Andy Murray - who triumphed at London 2012 and also won his maiden grand slam at the US Open - is also high on the list.

David Weir, who won four golds in London, is viewed by the bookmakers as the leading Paralympian.

Cycling greats Jason Kenny and Victoria Pendleton did not make the cut and Barbara Slater, the director of BBC Sport who chaired the shortlisting panel, admitted it was tough to omit such names.

"We had already extended the shortlist for the main award this year from 10 to 12, but at times we all wished it was nearer 15 or 20," Slater said in a BBC blog.

"It was very difficult to leave off Olympians and Paralympians of the calibre of Charlotte Dujardin, Alistair Brownlee, Jade Jones, Sophie Christiansen, Laura Trott, Jonnie Peacock, Jason Kenny and Victoria Pendleton, to name just a few.

"The panel also reflected long and hard on the heroics of stars from other sports such as (Ryder Cup golfer) Ian Poulter during the 'Miracle of Medinah', the continued brilliance of (boxer) Carl Froch and the 'magnificent seven' from champion jockey Richard Hughes.

"In any other year these sports people would probably be front-runners to win the overall award.

"If we ever needed reminding just how special a sporting year it has been, then the list of those sports people who did not make the final 12 is testament to that."

The award will be chosen by public vote and announced at the Sports Personality of the Year show from London's ExCeL on December 16.

List of nominees:
Nicola Adams
Ben Ainslie
Jessica Ennis
Mo Farah
Katherine Grainger
Sir Chris Hoy
Rory McIlroy
Andy Murray
Ellie Simmonds
Sarah Storey
David Weir
Bradley Wiggins

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.