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Jonathan Rea is named on BBC Sports Personality of the Year shortlist

Who else is on the list, what happens now and how many votes are likely to be needed to win the award?

By Gareth Hanna

World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea has been included on the BBC Sports Personality of the Year shortlist.

The Ballyclare man has made it onto the 12-strong list of potential champions for the first time, facing competition from the likes of boxer Anthony Joshua, Formula One's Lewis Hamilton and Tottenham striker Harry Kane.

Rea became the first man ever to win three successive World Superbike titles when victory in Magny-Cours was enough to see him over the line back in September.

Jonathan said it feels like he's "in a dream".

"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 Superbike. 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 SPOTY on television and now to be nominated for the main award is pretty awesome.  I’m excited to share the room with so many sporting greats and celebrate a fantastic year of sporting success in the UK”.

After that, we asked him about his chances of claiming another accolade when the BBC SPOTY winner is announced in Liverpool on December 17:

Since then, his odds have tumbled, from as high as 200/1 to the 20/1 fourth favourite to win the overall award, behind odds-on favourite Anthony Joshua, Lewis Hamilton and Chris Froome.

That is perhaps at least in part due to an online petition started by Carole Nash that quickly gathered up over 10,000 signatures demanding for Rea to make the shortlist. It was delivered to the BBC's building in Manchester's Media City earlier this month:

But now his eager supporters' nervous wait is over.

Who else is on the BBC SPOTY shortlist?

The full list of 12 nominees is as follows:

Anthony Joshua (Boxing): The world's number one heavyweight beat Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley in April to add the WBA and IBO belts to his IBF title. He successfully defended his IBF title against late replacement Carlos Takam in October.

Lewis Hamilton (Formula One Racing): Won his fourth Formula One World Championship.

Harry Kane (Football): Was the Premier League's top scorer in 2016-17 for the second season in a row.

Chris Froome (Cycling): Won the Tour de France for the fourth time.

Mo Farah (Athletics): Won the world 10,000 metres title in London but narrowly missed out on the 5,000m double in his final track season.

Jonathan Rea (Motorcycling): Won his third successive World Superbike title.

Johanna Konta (Tennis): Reached her best singles world ranking of four in the summer after the biggest win of her career at the Miami Open. Also reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon.

Elise Christie (Speed-skating): Became the first European woman to win the 1,000m, 1500m and overall gold at the World Championships in Rotterdam in March.

Jonnie Peacock (Athletics): Won gold at the IPC World Athletics Championships in the T44 100m.

Adam Peaty (Swimming): Successfully defended his men's 100m and 50m breaststroke titles in Budapest, setting a new World Championship record in the 100m and breaking the 50m world record twice in one day.

Anya Shrubsole (Cricket): Delivered the best ever bowling figures of six for 46 in a Women's Cricket World Cup final as England won the tournament.

Bianca Walkden (Taekwondo): Successfully defended her world taekwondo heavyweight title in South Korea

So what happens now and can I help Jonathan Rea win?

The 12 shortlisted candidates now go forward to the public vote on the December 17 awards night, to be held in Liverpool's Echo Arena.

So yes, you can help by casting your vote on that big night, December 17. Voting will take place either by phone or online. Online votes will be limited to one per account on the BBC website.

How many votes is Jonathan Rea likely to need if he's going to win?

In short, it's hard to say. The number of votes needed to win the award has varied greatly over the last few years. But we can at least look back at those figures and on three of the last four awards nights, the winner was the only nominee to surpass 125,000 votes. Let's take a look:

2016 Winner: Andy Murray

The tennis star received 247,419 votes with runner-up Alistair Brownlee well behind on 121,665 votes. Jessica Ennis-Hill was third with 79,898 votes.

2015 Winner: Andy Murray

The year before, Murray's 2016 total wouldn't have been enough to take top spot. Runner-up that year was Rugby League star Kevin Sinfield, who picked up 278,353 votes. Fortunately for Murray, he got 361,446 votes - the highest total in recent years.

2014 Winner: Lewis Hamilton

The Formula One star picked up 209,920 votes three years ago, beating our own Rory McIlroy into second place. Rory picked up 123,745 votes.

2013 Winner: Andy Murray

Murray really cleaned up with 56% of the vote, 401,470 to be precise. In second place was Leigh Halfpenny but the rugby star was way back on only 65,913 votes.

Who's the favourite to win and where does Jonathan Rea stand in the betting?

According to Paddy Power, Anthony Joshua is odds-on to become the 2017 Sports Personality of the Year. The world's world's top heavyweight is ranked at 2/9.

The Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton is second-favourite at 6/1 with four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome at 10/1.

That leaves Jonathan Rea the fourth-favourite at 20/1 with world 10,000 metres title-winner Mo Farah close behind at 22/1.

Tottenham forward Harry Kane is ranked at 40/1 with Adam Peaty and Jonnie Peacock at 66/1.

Anya Shrubsole is at 150/1 and the real outside trio Biancia Walkden, Elise Christie and Johanna Konta are at 200/1.

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