Alistair Brownlee has been the big SPOTY gamble after winning Olympic gold and then heroically helping his brother Jonathan
A few months ago, it appeared that the 2016 Sports Personality of the Year would be either Andy Murray or Mo Farah. Murray has won Wimbledon for the second time and looked as though he could lead Great Britain to a Davis Cup success.
Meanwhile, Farah was strong favourite to win both the 5000m and 10000m in the Rio Olympics and the ace runner duly obliged with double gold, although it is another Olympian that has leapfrogged him in the SPOTY market.
A triathlete wouldn’t normally stand out from the crowd of GB gold medal winners during an Olympics, although Alistair Brownlee has shot into contention largely for heroics of a different kind.
In September, he and brother Jonny were competing in a World Championship triathlon event when the latter got into trouble and Alistair was on hand to come to his aid and help him over the line.
Footage of this incident went viral and there was popular acclaim for the older sibling which means he’s now a best price 11/4 with Stan James to become the 2016 Sports Personality of the Year.
It’s always hard to predict the outcome of television awards such as this and perhaps if the incident had happened a little nearer to the time of the vote in December, then Brownlee might deserve to be favourite.
However, Murray winning Wimbledon is still a remarkable achievement in the eyes of the voting public and he’s no bigger than 5/2 with Paddy Power to claim a third SPOTY title.
It’s clear that Murray is incredibly popular and that a lot of female voters will go the sport of tennis to cast their vote, while Farah’s incredible achievements are only reflected in odds of 6/1 (betfair) that he triumphs.
Fourth favourite is Laura Trott who wowed everyone at the Rio velodrome although her odds of 9/1 (Stan James) reflect the fact that she’s a household name.
It would appear to be a four-horse race at this stage, with Anthony Joshua a 14/1 chance and Gareth Bale as big as 20/1.