SPOTY 2016: Who made the shortlist, part 1

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By Thomas Dodd

  • Shortlist announced for 2016 BBC Sports Personality of the Year
  • 16 contenders drawn up after decision by panel of Sports Journalism/Media experts
  • Andy Murray won 2015 crown after guiding Great Britain to Davis Cup glory
LONDON, ENGLAND – It is almost time for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2016, and in an Olympic year there are 16 worthy candidates – we take a look at the four of them.




Nicola Adams – Boxing

Age: 34
SPOTY History: Nominated 2012

The only Boxer on the list, Adams cemented herself as one of Britain’s most recognisable and iconic Olympians in 2016 by retaining her flyweight division title Rio four years after becoming the first ever female boxer to win a medal in London. Already an MBE, Adams is also a prolific LGBT rights campaigner and earlier this year was named number one in a DIVA Power List of the UK’s most eminent lesbian and bisexual women.


Gareth Bale – Football

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Age: 27
SPOTY history: Nominated 2014

The former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder had another stellar year on the pitch helping Real Madrid to an eleventh Champions League triumph in May before almost single-handedly helping Wales to the last four of Euro 2016, with three goals and an assist as Chris Coleman‘s side defied all the odds to make the semi-finals of their first major competition since 1958. In scoring his 43rd La Liga goal in March he surpassed Gary Lineker to become the highest-scoring British player in Spanish top flight history.


Alistair Brownlee – Triathlon

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Age: 28
SPOTY History: First time nominee

Already an MBE and an Olympic Champion, it’s perhaps a surprise that Brownlee hasn’t yet reached the SPOTY shortlist before. Like Adams, Brownlee also defended the title he won in London at 2012, running another faultless race to take home the Gold in Rio. He endeared himself further into the hearts of British sports fans when he gave up a chance to win the Triathlon World Final in Mexico to help his ailing brother Jonny, who was on the brink of collapse.


Sophie Christiansen – Equestrian

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Age: 29
SPOTY History: First time nominee

Not content with Golds in Beijing and London, Christiansen cemented herself as one of Britain’s most successful Paralympic athletes with three more rides to the top of the podium in Brazil in the Summer. Success in the Freestyle, Championship and Team events brought her total of Golds in Paralympic Games to eight and ten overall after a silver and bronze in Athens and Beijing respectively. In 2015, she won the Women of the Future Award, with judges citing her ‘ferocious determination to succeed’ as the reason for her victory.


Check out our other guides here:

Part 2: Kadeena Cox, Mo Farah, Laura Kenny, Jason Kenny

Part 3: Andy Murray, Adam Peaty, Kate Richardson-Walsh, Nick Skelton

Part 4: Dame Sarah Storey, Jamie Vardy, Max Whitlock, Danny Willett


Vote in our Poll

The BBC Sports Personality of the Year will take place on 18 December