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Sports Personality 2019: Rea left out of final list of six contenders

Jonathan Rea
Jonathan Rea

By Eimear McGovern and PA

A shortlist of six contenders has been revealed for the 2019 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

Athletes Dina Asher-Smith and Katarina Johnson-Thompson, cricketer Ben Stokes, Formula 1's Lewis Hamilton, footballer Raheem Sterling and rugby union's Alun Wyn Jones all feature on the list.

It was thought record-breaking five-in-a-row World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea was a strong contender for the shortlist this year, but he was passed over.

Northern Ireland sports fans were left bemused and frustrated last year when they weren't given the chance to get behind the 32-year-old.

In 2017, Rea picked up over 80,000 votes when he finished runner-up to Mo Farah.

It's been a stellar year for the man who is arguably the greatest World Superbike rider in its 31-year history after he nailed his fifth consecutive World Championship.

Presenters Gary Lineker, Clare Balding and Gabby Logan will select 2019's winner on December 15 in front of an audience of 10,000 in Aberdeen.

The contenders

England's Cricket World Cup-winning hero Stokes followed up his World Cup heroics with a performance for the ages in the third Ashes Test at Headingley with an incredible 135 not out which levelled the series at 1-1.

Australia ultimately retained the urn in the drawn series, but Stokes' innings is regarded as one of the greatest of all time.

Asher-Smith and Johnson-Thompson were the star attractions for Great Britain at the World Athletics Championships in Doha.

Asher-Smith won gold in the women's 200 metres in a British record time and also took silver in the 100m, with Johnson-Thompson claiming victory in the heptathlon.

She set four personal bests as she finally saw off great rival Nafissatou Thiam to secure gold.

Hamilton secured his sixth F1 drivers' title earlier this month, and is now just one shy of Michael Schumacher's all-time record.

The 2019 success was his third in a row, and his race-wins record currently stands at 83.

Sterling played a key role as Manchester City secured the domestic treble of Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup in 2019.

He was voted the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year and has been praised for taking a stand against racism in the game.

He has also been a key performer for England and looks set to be one of the stars at next summer's European Championship finals, which conclude at Wembley.

Jones captained Wales to the Rugby World Cup semi-finals in Japan. The team were eliminated by eventual winners South Africa, but Jones led by example for Warren Gatland's side.

He has won 143 caps for Wales and the British and Irish Lions, which puts him five shy of all-time international appearance record-holder Richie McCaw of New Zealand.

Jones also led Wales to Grand Slam success in the Six Nations earlier this year and was named player of the championship.

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