2011 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Preview

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Published: 12/12/2011

For the first time since its inauguration in 1954, the BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony will take place on a Thursday evening in 2011, just three days prior to Christmas on December 22.

Whilst the past twelve months have not quite been filled with success for British sport, particularly on a team level, there have still been a number of individuals who have achieved an incredible amount to warrant their place on the shortlist for the coveted main award.

Perennial contender Mark Cavendish may well get his moment in the spotlight this year after a sensational Tour De France campaign which saw him claim six stage victories on the way to winning the Green Jersey.

Undoubtedly British Cycling’s hottest commodityoutside of the Velodrome, Cavendish has consistently taken on and beaten the best sprinters in the world whilst also surviving the punishing uphill climbs which feature in many long distance road races.

A worthy favourite perhaps, however from a betting perspective there may be value elsewhere in terms of finding the award winner – considering that Cavendish’s sport is not exactly the most popular amongst British viewers.

The World Athletics Championships have just been awarded to London for 2017 and this year’s renewal in Daegu, South Korea, was well spectated in Britain as the unsinkable Mo Farah made history by becoming the first British man to win a long distance gold medal at the event .

After being narrowly denied in the 10,000m, the courageous Farah recovered both mentally and physically to bounce back just days later to triumph in the 5000m.

The circumstances of his success alone are likely to strike a chord with many BBC viewers and his odds of 10/1 to walk away with the accolade look far too generous.

He may nevertheless be outdone by another highly gutsy sportsman in the shape of golfer Darren Clarke, who finally won his first major tournament after the loss of his beloved wife.

The fact that it was also the Open Championship may bolster further his achievement in the eyes of the British public, so the Irishman has to be in contention as his odds of 11/5 suggest.

Clarke’s compatriot Rory McIlroy also roared to major success in 2011 at the US Open – and although he fully deserves his place on the shortlist, it is likely that he will walk away with the Young Sports Personality of the Year award.

With betting also available on team of the year, it is possible to make money from the ceremony as well as being able to contribute to the overall result.

Betting markets on the ceremony have been installed for a number of years and usually run the whole year through, with odds varying all the time as new developments happen.

Come December, the backer can really evaluate just who has done the most to deserve British sport’s ultimate ‘well done’ – however the logical solution may not always be the correct one considering that so many people have their say through telephone and internet votes.


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