This past week saw the BBC announce the shortlist for their annual Sport Personality award. Each year some poor sole is acrimoniously left off the list, with conspiracy theories quickly circulating as to the reason why, but on this occasion an entire gender is abash in there absence. With not one single woman appearing on the list, the BBC has had to field silly questions that debate their conduct and selection committee, with only Jeremy Clarkson's antics cooling the discussion. But rather than ponder such juvenile and outdated queries about whether every member of the BBC still believes in the existence of “cooties,” I would like to celebrate the achievements of every sportsman who did make the list and decide which one of them deserves to be crowned the BBC Sports Personality Of The Year in Salford on Thursday 22nd December.
Mark Cavendish – The winner of the Tour De France green jersey, i.e. the award for the race’s best sprinter, Cavendish has had a scintillating year. He also became Britain’s first male world race champion in 46 years after he led the eight-strong GB team to 266km peloton victory.
Darren Clarke – His maiden major title victory in July at the Open in July saw the end to a rollercoaster couple of years for the lovable Irishman, after the death of his wife Heather in 2006 from breast cancer.
Alastair Cook – Having turned into the key compartment of the England batting line up, his fantastic performance throughout the Ashes tour in Australia has led to England becoming the number one Test team in the world.
Luke Donald – The world’s number one golfer has been devastatingly consistent and after he beat Lee Westwood in a play-off to win the PGA Championship at Wentworth, shot to the top of the leaders board, but is still yet to win his first major trophy.
Mo Farah – By winning the 5,000m gold at the World Championships, Mo proved that he was one of the finest long distance runners in the world, and the first ever gold medal won by a British long distance runner in a global championship.
Dai Greene – After winning a gold medal in the 400m hurdles at the Athletics World Championship in Korea, Greene has been touted as a major threat for this summers Olympic games.
Amir Khan – Khan knocked out Zab Judah in five round in their light-welterweight unification fight in Las Vegas in July, putting on a boxing master class in the process after many had predicted a tight battle between the two.
Rory McIlroy – The new golden boy of the golf world, Rory clinched his first major title with an eight shot victory in the US Open, at the tender age of 22, and after chocking in the US Masters back in April.
Andy Murray – Often derided for his lack of Wimbledon success, Murray has proved himself to be one of worlds best tennis player in the 2011 with a string of stunning victories throughout the year, despite being in one of the greatest Tennis eras of all time.
Andrew Strauss – By leading England to an Ashes victory in Australia, Strauss has written himself into the cricketing history books and was followed by a 4-0 series win over India that now places his side on top of the world.