Ten sportsmen and women from across the United Kingdom and from nine very different sports, make up the shortlist for BBC Sports Personality Of The Year 2009, BBC One, Sunday 13 December, 7.00-9.00pm.
The live event will be held at the Sheffield Arena for the first time and is a sell-out with around 11,000 people attending, making it the biggest Sports Personality ever.
The shortlist (in alphabetical order) is:
These 10 sporting celebrities (2009 highlights below) will now compete for the public vote on the night of the live show.
The public will be able to vote for their BBC Sports Personality Of The Year by telephone; details of the numbers to vote on will be given out during the programme.
The shortlist of 10 contenders was put together by a panel of 26 sports editors from (national and regional) newspapers and magazines.
Details of the sports editors’ votes can be seen on the website at bbc.co.uk/sportspersonality at 7.30pm on 30 November.
The live show will be presented by Sue Barker, Gary Lineker and Jake Humphrey.
In addition to the main award of Sports Personality Of The Year there will also be awards for:
Team of the Year
Coach of the Year
Overseas Sports Personality of the Year
Helen Rollason Award
Young Sports Personality of the Year
Sports Unsung Hero
For voting criteria on all the Awards, further information and updates please visit bbc.co.uk/sportspersonality.
Notes to Editors
Jenson Button will never forget 2009. Just weeks before the season started in March, he didn’t have a car to drive – but by October he was Formula One World Champion. He started out in pole position winning an incredible six out of the first seven Grands Prix, building up an unassailable lead thanks to a combination of brains and a Brawn car that was just too good for the competition. Jenson – who was 100-l to win the title in January – had only won one Grand Prix before this season and is now the 10th Formula One world champion Britain has produced.
Mark Cavendish was simply the fastest man on two wheels in 2009. The Manxman won a history-making six stages in the Tour de France and his final victory in Paris was extra special as he became the first Briton to win on the Champs-Elysees. During the Tour, the Team Columbia rider wore the prestigious Green Jersey and in the early stages of the Giro d’Italia he wore the leader’s Maglia Rosa jersey. Mark won many stages in many races throughout the season – with another highlight being his victory in the Milan-San Remo Classic earlier in the year.
Tom Daley sensationally became a world champion this year – at the tender age of 15 years and 61 days. When most teens would be studying at school, Tom was ruling the world thanks to an incredible display of dives in the 10-metre platform event in Rome. The 2007 Young Sports Personality of the Year beat a top class field which included Olympic champion Matt Mitcham and he saved the best for last thanks to a flawless final dive which moved him up from third to first.
Jessica Ennis showed all of her Sheffield steel this year with a golden performance at the World Athletics Championships. Just a year after cruelly missing out on the Beijing Olympics with injury, the Yorkshire star shone during the heptathlon, leading from start to finish in Berlin to take gold. The ’tadpole’ – as she’s affectionately known – posted seven sensational performances in the 100 metre hurdles, the high jump, shot put, 200 metres, long jump, javelin and 800 metres. And her score of 6,731 points was a personal best.
Ryan Giggs just gets better with age. The 36-year-old Manchester United playmaker is the most decorated player in English football history and in May this year, he won a record 11th Premier League winners’ medal. He’s been in outstanding form all year – and was instrumental in helping United reach the Champions League final. He is one of the most respected players in the game and in April this year he won the prestigious PFA Player of the Year award for the first time. In the same month he made his 800th appearance for United – the only club he’s played for in a professional career spanning 19 years. In 2009 he scored his 150th goal for United.
David Haye realised a dream in 2009 by becoming the heavyweight champion of the world. Despite conceding nearly a foot in height and seven stones in weight against giant rival Nikolai Valuev, the 29-year-old scored a dramatic majority points victory thanks to a boxing masterclass. Haye used all his speed and skill to make up those deficiencies in the much anticipated ’David v Goliath’ battle in Nuremberg, Germany, to become Britain’s sixth world heavyweight champion in history. The ’Hayemaker’ now has his sights set on adding more belts to his WBA version in 2010.
Phillips Idowu became Britain’s second gold medallist at the World Athletics Championships thanks to a brilliant performance in the triple jump. The Belgrave Harrier from Hackney leapt to 17 metres and 73 centimetres in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, which was also a personal best. The victory was consolation for 30-year-old Phillips after he missed out on Olympic gold last year. And it was fitting too, as he was presented with his medal by former world and Olympic triple jump champion Jonathan Edwards – who was also BBC Sports Personality Of The Year in 1995.
Andy Murray once again flew the flag for British tennis in 2009. The 22-year-old had an outstanding year, winning six tournaments (correct at 9/11/09) including two top tier Masters events at Miami and Montreal. Those wins helped propel him to a career high world number two – the highest ever ranking by a British player. Andy also won a first tournament on home soil at Queen’s just before Wimbledon – but his dream of glory at SW19 was ended by Andy Roddick in the semi-finals. That was his best ever performance at Wimbledon – and he also enjoyed his best run in the French Open, reaching the quarter finals.
Andrew Strauss had a wonderful summer. England’s cricket captain masterminded the Ashes victory over Australia – and he did it in style by being named player of the series. Strauss always looked cool and he led from the front as England reclaimed the famous old urn by winning two Tests to one. The opening batsman topped the run-scoring charts with 474 – at an average of 52. And with an innings of 161 at Lord’s, he also hit the highest score of the five-Test series. Always in control, always in charge, Andrew was captain fantastic.
Beth Tweddle had a year she will never forget. Britain’s greatest-ever gymnast won gold after a glorious routine on the floor at the World Championships. What made Beth’s achievement all the better was that it was in front of a huge home crowd at London’s O2 Arena, and it came just days after she suffered a fall during her signature event on the bars. But like all top class athletes, Beth dusted herself down and came back to perform a brilliant flawless routine which was full of high risk and technical difficulty.