Belfast Telegraph

Jonathan Rea's delight at SPOTY nomination

By Adrian Rutherford

World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea says he is "so proud" after being shortlisted for the 2017 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

The 30-year-old from Ballyclare became the first rider to clinch three successive World Superbike titles earlier this year.

He has made it onto the 12-strong list of potential champions for the first time, facing competition from the likes of boxer Anthony Joshua and Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton.

Joshua, the 28-year-old former Olympic champion, is the odds-on favourite to win the award.

Rea won his three successive World Superbike title at Magny-Cours in September. He is 22/1 fourth favourite to win the prize, behind Joshua, Hamilton and cyclist Chris Froome, winner of this year's Tour de France.

Rea said: "I'm very excited to be included in the nominations for such a prestigious event and it really is the icing on the cake after a great year in Superbikes.

"Right now, I feel like I'm in a dream, and I never imagined I would have won three World Championships in a row.

"I'm very happy to represent my sport as it's been a decade since a motorcyclist has been nominated so to be recognised with all other mainstream sports is something I'm so proud of.

"As a fan of sport, I've grown up watching Sports Personality of the Year on television and now to be nominated for the main award is pretty awesome."

Also on the shortlist is Mo Farah, who won the world 10,000 metres title in London, and Tottenham and England footballer Harry Kane, who was the top scorer in the Premier League last season.

British women's tennis number one Johanna Konta, short-track speed-skater Elise Christie and Jonnie Peacock, who won gold at the IPC World Athletics Championships in the T44 100m, are also shortlisted.

Swimmer Adam Peaty's record-breaking achievements at the World Aquatics Championships have been recognised. So too England women's cricketer Anya Shrubsole, who makes the list for her performances as England won the World Cup on home soil. Bianca Walkden, who successfully defended her world taekwondo heavyweight title in South Korea, completes the 12-strong list.

The winner will be decided by public vote, with the live show taking place in Liverpool on December 17.

Belfast Telegraph

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