There will be another public vote this weekend. On Sunday night, the BBC will announce its Sports Personality of the Year with Ben Stokes the overwhelming favourite to take the prize after a summer of cricketing heroics.
In the 65th year of the award, he is joined by five other athletes who each have strong claims themselves, after another impressive year for British sport.
Stokes, 28, is odds-on at the bookies. The England batsman decided the Cricket World Cup final in England’s favour, entering the field with the score a precarious 71 for three and leaving it only after winning the decisive ‘Super Over’. He also had an innings for the ages during the Ashes, scoring an unbeaten 135 at Headingley to win the third Test (but sadly not the series). That it came just a year after Stokes had been cleared in court following charges of affray creates a redemption story the public may find hard to resist.
Second with the bookies is the sprinter Dina Asher-Smith, whose achievements are no less jaw-dropping. At 24, she is the fastest British woman in history and the first to win a major global sprint title after she stormed to victory in the 200m at the World Athletics Championships in Qatar. She is joined on the list by Katarina Johnson-Thompson, the heptathlete, who put injuries and a lack of confidence behind her as she also claimed world championship gold, breaking Jessica Ennis-Hill’s British record in the process.
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