Sports Personality of the Year 2020

Clare Balding, Gary Lineker, Alex Scott MBE and Gabby LoganClare Balding, Gary Lineker, Alex Scott MBE and Gabby Logan
Clare Balding, Gary Lineker, Alex Scott MBE and Gabby Logan
Sunday: Sports Personality of the Year 2020; (BBC One, 8pm)

At the beginning of the year, many sports fans would have predicted that this annual awards ceremony would be dominated by the Olympic Games in Tokyo and Euro 2020.

However, thanks to the outbreak of Covid-19, those major international events were postponed, while many others such as Wimbledon and the Open Championship, were ditched completely.

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Therefore, you may think not a lot has happened this year – sports-wise, anyway.

However, as the sporting world rallied round and attempted to provide entertainment for those in and out of lockdowns, we were treated a fair bit of elite football, cricket, rugby, tennis, golf, athletics, motor racing, boxing, cycling, darts and snooker action during the latter part of year.

The 67th BBC Sports Personality of the Year show comes from Media City in Salford, and will see presenters Gabby Logan, Gary Lineker, Clare Balding and Alex Scott chew over the best moments from what has been a 12 months like no other.

It will “champion the teams that triumphed despite the pandemic, sports stars that achieved greatness even with interrupted schedules, and the coaches and local heroes that made it possible”.

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So who are the contenders to win the prestigious award given to Ben Stokes in 2019 after he helped England win the Cricket World Cup for the first time?

Boxer Tyson Fury was among the favourites to scoop the prize straight after knocking out Deontay Wilder at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas in February to win the WBC Heavyweight title.

In August, the delayed World Snooker Championship at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield was won by ‘The Rocket’ Ronnie O’Sullivan, who captured his sixth world crown and strengthening him claim to be regarded as the greatest snooker player of all time.

However, this year’s betting is now led by Formula One driver and 2014 Sports Personality of the Year Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton claimed his seventh world title last month with victory at the Turkish Grand Prix to equal Michael Schumacher’s record tally.

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Other shortlisted contenders are England cricketer Stuart Broad, who passed 500 Test wickets, record-breaking jockey Hollie Doyle and Liverpool FC’s Premier League-winning captain Jordan Henderson.

Although he is not in the running for the main award, Manchester United and England striker Marcus Rashford will also be recognised for the impact he has made this year. It has been strange year for everyone, and sport has never seemed more important to spectators and participants alike. Therefore, perhaps the recognition for Rashford is a fitting way to appreciate the efforts of others.

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