Who Will Win BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2022?

Who Will Win BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2022?
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Jake Wightman has muscled his way into contention for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award after seizing 1500m gold at the World Championships.

Betting sites still make Ronnie O’Sullivan the outright favourite following his masterful performance in the World Snooker Championship.

However, he now has a formidable opponent in Wightman, who became the first British man to win the world 1500m title since Steve Cram in 1983.

His father, Geoff, happens to be the stadium announcer for the World Championships in Oregon. 

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“Running is coming home,” he roared over the Tannoy. “Wow. That is my son and he is the world champion.”

Wightman could cap a terrific year by claiming the SPOTY award, but the market is growing increasingly competitive, as Matt Fitzpatrick won the US Open and Jonny Bairstow has been on fire for the England cricket team.

Let’s take a look at how the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2022 market is shaping up. These are the leading contenders:

Who Is Favourite To Win SPOTY?

AthleteBest OddsBookmaker
Ronnie O'Sullivan10/3Paddy Power
Jake Wightman5/1Ladbrokes
Beth Mead10/1bet365
Harry Kane12/1William Hill
Tyson Fury12/1bet365
Matt Fitzpatrick18/1BetVictor
Jonny Bairstow25/110Bet
Hollie Doyle33/1bet365

Ronnie O’Sullivan

O’Sullivan equalled Stephen Hendry’s record by winning a seventh World Snooker Championship title at the Crucible. 

Trump put him under intense pressure throughout a gripping contest, but the Rocket held his nerve to secure a Magnificent Seven.

The superlatives quickly came flooding in. Trump called him the best player of all-time, while Hendry declared that O’Sullivan has taken snooker to new heights, branding him “a winning machine”. 

Broadcaster John Parrott went one step further, calling him “the most talented sportsman in Britain” right now.

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He is the oldest ever winner of the World Championship, and he could now become the oldest SPOTY winner of all-time. 

Golfer Dai Rees currently holds the record, as he was aged 44 when he won it in 1957 – two years younger than O’Sullivan. Last year’s winner, Emma Raducanu, had not even been born when the Rocket won his first world title.

He is a talented sportsman and an outspoken personality, so he is currently the 10/3 favourite with specials betting sites to win this award.

Jake Wightman

Wightman produced a magnificent final burst of speed to overtake Olympic champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen on the final lap and clinch the world title. He looked shocked as he crossed the line first, with a time of 3:29.23.

The 28-year-old athlete burst onto the scene in 2018, when he claimed Commonwealth and European bronze medals. 

However, he was devastated to finish 10th at last year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo. Wightman credited that disappointment with spurring him on at the worlds.

“I don’t think people realise how crushing it is to go in with such high expectations and come away 10th,” he said in a post-race interview with the BBC. 

“I have given up so much to get to this point, such a lot of things sacrificed, and this makes everything worth it. I was running for my life down the home straight. It is still just shock and disbelief. It probably won't sink in until I have retired.”

Wightman is now the 5/1 second favourite with Ladbrokes for the SPOTY award, which leaves him hot on O’Sullivan’s heels.

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Beth Mead

The England forward moved up to third in the SPOTY betting after banging in five goals during the Lionesses’ three group stage games at the Women’s Euros

Mead also provided three assists, leaving her with far more key contributions than any other player at the tournament.

Mead was disappointed to miss out on a place in Team GB’s Olympics team last year, but she responded by producing 14 goals and eight assists for Arsenal. Her highlight reel includes fierce long-range strikes and exquisite free-kicks.

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She is now one of the first names on the England team sheet, and she has blazed a trail of destruction across the Euros.

Bet365 has 10/1 on her winning the SPOTY award, but those odds are sure to shorten if she leads the Lionesses to glory this summer.

Harry Kane

The England captain is next in the betting at 12/1 with William Hill. That is not really a reflection of anything he has done thus far in 2022 - although he did finish the Premier League season for Spurs with a flourish - but more of a prediction that he could play a starring role in Qatar later this year.

Harry Kane was the top scorer at the 2018 World Cup, which saw England go all the way to the semi-finals, and he finished third in the SPOTY voting that year. 

Since then, the Three Lions have finished as runners-up in the European Championship and the UEFA Nations League. 

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They were poor in the Nations League this summer, so they will need to buck their ideas up in Qatar.

Running may be coming home thanks to Wightman’s heroics in Oregon, but England will need a huge effort from Kane if football is to follow suit.

Tyson Fury

Tyson Fury

The Gypsy King rounds out the top five contenders for this award after demolishing Dillian Whyte in front of a record crowd at Wembley.

He was also among the favourites last year, when he knocked out Deontay Wilder in a thrilling trilogy fight. However, he said he did not want to be nominated, claiming he did not need the “gratification” of the BBC.

In a follow-up interview, Fury made several disparaging remarks about the SPOTY award, and urged his fans not to vote for him. He finished outside the top three.

He is back in the mix this year, although he may reject the nomination. Despite his antipathy, betting apps are offering 12/1 on him being named Sports Personality of the Year.

Matt Fitzpatrick

Fitzpatrick produced a nerveless performance to win the US Open at Brookline in June. 

The leaderboard was bursting with world-class talent on the final day, but Fitzpatrick held off Will Zalatoris and world number one Scottie Scheffler to prevail by a single stroke.

It was his first win since joining the PGA Tour. He also finished T5 at the PGA Championship, T14 at the Masters and T21 at the Open Championship. Fitzpatrick is now up to 10th in the world rankings.

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He is currently an outsider for this award, priced at 18/1 with BetVictor. There are no majors left this year, but a strong showing in the FedEx Cup could bolster Fitzpatrick’s chances.

Jonny Bairstow

Bairstow has climbed up the ranks in this market after dazzling with the bat this summer. He hit a match-winning 136 off just 92 balls to seal victory for England in the second Test against New Zealand last month.

His hundred came off a mere 77 balls, making it the second quickest Test century by an English player in history.

He was the star of the show in the third Test at Headingley, and Bairstow continued his astonishing form with another century against India in July. His ledger in the three Tests was 475 runs from just 434 balls.

There will be many more opportunities for Bairstow to wow fans this year, and he is an interesting outsider at 25/1 with 10Bet.

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The Rest

We then reach a series of long-shots in the betting: Dina Asher-Smith (33/1), Hollie Doyle (33/1), Ben Stokes (40/1), Ellen White (40/1), Raheem Sterling (40/1), Vicky Wright (40/1) Eve Muirhead (50/1), Jos Buttler (50/1), Anthony Joshua (50/1) and Cameron Norrie (100/1).

Doyle finished third in the SPOTY voting last year. She became the first female jockey to win a European Group 1 Classic when she rode Nashwa to victory in the Prix de Diane - known as the French Oaks - at Chantilly this summer. 

She could be an interesting outsider, as she became the first flat hockey to reach 100 wins in 2022 earlier this week.