SPOTY 2022: Six nominees revealed for Wednesday’s awards show

The BBC has announced its shortlist of six contenders for the 2022 Sports Personality of the Year award, with football star Beth Mead expected to lift the trophy.

The nominees other than England’s Euros champion Mead are gymnast Jessica Gadirova, curling’s Eve Muirhead, cricketer Ben Stokes, snooker player Ronnie O’Sullivan and athlete Jake Wightman.

The winner will be decided by a public vote during the televised SPOTY show on Wednesday and Mead is a heavy favorite with the bookies after helping lead the Lionesses to their historic Euro 2022 triumph over the summer, where she won the golden boot as top scorer and was named player of the tournament.

Stokes won the award in 2019 and is in the running again after captaining Test series victories over New Zealand, South Africa and Pakistan, as England’s “bazball” style of play revolutionises the longest form of the game, while also playing a starring role in England’s T20 World Cup victory.

O’Sullivan could claim the gong for the first time at the age of 47 after equaling Stephen Hendry’s record by winning a seventh World Snooker Championship.

Muirhead’s Olympic career had a golden ending, with the curling skip leading her rink to Team GB’s only gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Beijing before announcing her retirement.

Meanwhile, Gadirova and Wightman both became world champions in 2022, 18-year-old gymnast Gadirova with her floor routine and Wightman in the 1,500m at the World Athletics Championships.

Gary Lineker, Clare Balding, Gabby Logan and Alex Scott will present the awards, as the six sporting stars hope to follow in the footsteps of last year’s winner Emma Raducanu.

Other awards to be announced include Young Sports Personality of the Year, Team and Coach of the Year, Unsung Hero and the Helen Rollason Award.

Eight-time Olympic sprint gold medallist Usain Bolt will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement award, while Argentina’s World Cup-winning footballer Lionel Messi is World Sport Star of the Year.

Here’s what the six nominees have achieved this year:

Jesica Gadirova

Gadirova celebrates world gymnastics gold on the floor with her sister Jennifer


The 18-year-old gymnast has had a stellar 2022, capped by becoming only the fifth British athlete to win an individual world title in artistic gymnastics. Gadirova achieved that with her floor routine in Liverpool in November, having previously claimed team silver and all-around bronze. A team bronze medalist at the Olympics last summer, Gadirova also retained her European floor title.

Beth Mead

Mead lifts the Euro 2022 trophy

(The FA via Getty)

The Lionesses will figure prominently in the BBC One show and it would be a huge surprise if Mead does not walk away with the main prize. The Arsenal forward was named player of the tournament in England’s Euro 2022 success and also won the golden boot after scoring six goals and adding five assists. Her international goal tally for the season of 20 was a New England record.

Eve Muirhead

Muirhead guided Team GB to gold in Beijing


A difficult Winter Olympics in Beijing for Britain had a golden ending as skip Muirhead led her curling rink to glory. The GB women only just made it through the round-robin stage before edging past Sweden and then romping to a final win over Japan. Muirhead completed her collection of major titles with gold at the World Mixed Doubles Championship before announcing her retirement.

Ronnie O’Sullivan

O’Sullivan equaled Stephen Hendry’s World Championship record and became the oldest holder of the crown at 46


Snooker’s biggest star claimed his seventh World Championship title in 2022 with an 18-13 win over Judd Trump, equaling Stephen Hendry’s record and becoming the oldest holder of the crown at 46. O’Sullivan is ranked world number one and also won the Champion of Champions and Hong Kong Masters titles this year. He has never won the SPOTY title.

Ben Stokes

Stokes underpinned another England World Cup win


Stokes was voted Sports Personality of the Year in 2019 and is in the running again after a hugely successful year. He guided England to the T20 World Cup, holding his nerve under huge pressure, and has overseen three Test series victories since being appointed captain in April. On Tuesday, he helped England write history by becoming the first team to win 3-0 in Pakistan.

Jake Wightman

Wightman become Britain’s first 1,500m champion for nearly 40 years


Wightman produced a stunning run at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon in July to become Britain’s first 1,500m champion for nearly 40 years, with his father Geoff commenting on the race in the stadium. The Scot completed his collection of medals at the other major championships over the summer, taking European silver and Commonwealth bronze.

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