Broad or Dettori would be worthy winners not only for stellar individual performances this year, but for careers that compare favorably in both achievement and longevity with anyone in the history of their sports.
If England had won the Ashes, as they really should have, then the overall case for Broad would probably have been unanswered. As it is, Dettori, who was third in Sports Personality of the Year some 27 years ago in 1996, is probably more deserving after what we thought was a remarkable finish at age 52. A farewell tour that included wins in two Classics, the Gold Cup and the Champion Stakes have since been extended and he will continue to compete, largely in America, next year.
That leaves Johnson-Thompson, who would be my pick, not only for winning a second heptathlon world title in a truly global sport like athletics, but for the way she came back after four years of doubt following a knee injury Achilles tendon dangerous for his career. take-off left leg.
…and Jude Bellingham should have been on the shortlist
We can already hear the cries of indignation at those who are excluded from the list. It was certainly better when a free vote took place without the BBC using a committee to narrow down the options.
British swimmers, who have quietly enjoyed another fantastic year, will surely be feeling aggrieved after Ben Proud also missed out last year, despite establishing himself as the world’s fastest freestyle sprinter. Matt Richards is the unluckiest this time around after winning a world double in the 200m freestyle and relay this summer at the age of just 20. He has the potential to become a big star at the Olympics next year.
Then there’s Jude Bellingham, who took European football by storm this year with his star performances for Real Madrid, as well as Josh Kerr, who not only won the 1,500m World Championships, but beat one of the sport’s all-time greats in a dramatic head-to-head with Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen.