This year for the first time the Overseas Sports Personality award is decided by public vote – good news for punters.
The shortlist has already been announced:
Usain Bolt athletics best price 5/6
Dan Carter rugby 3/1
Novak Djokovic tennis 6/1
Jordan Spieth golf 12/1
Serena Williams tennis 16/1
Katie Ledecky swimming 50/1
Details of how to vote and a summary of each of the contender’s 2015 achievements can be found here on the BBC SPOTY site. Voting is done through the site by registering, one vote per person. Voting closes at midday on Friday 11 December with the winner ‘announced ahead of the main awards show’.
I think there is enough reason to take on the favourite. Athletics has received some very poor publicity recently in light of the drug scandals. Not just that though – there also have to be some doubts over how well Bolt’s three sprinting golds in the World Athletics Championships have lodged in the wider public’s memories. Nor do they particularly stand out above some of Bolt’s previous years (he is already a three-time Overseas winner).
New Zealand’s Dan Carter is a rugby legend and was man of the match in the rugby world cup final at Twickenham – a special performance that would be deserving of the award.
Novak Djokovic has been in irresistible form all year winning three grand slams. Some are even now talking about him being the greatest player of all time. The top tennis players are extremely popular and Nole is no exception. After his best ever year it’s not hard to imagine a good few votes.
I’m not sure Jordan Spieth is well known enough yet amongst non-golf fans and while Serena Williams has had another great year (bar being upset in the US Open) it has not stood out particularly from those before.
By having to register on the site to vote and with no phone vote, the casual voter will be discouraged. This may not help Bolt’s cause. At the prices Carter and Djokovic appeal most of all.
* 1pt win Dan Carter 3/1 Ladbrokes
* 0.6pt win Novak Djokovic 6/1 Winner, Titan 5/1 Ladbrokes