A closer look at the shortlist for the 2021 Sports Personality of the Year

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The BBC has announced the shortlist for the 2021 Sports Personality of the Year.

Here, the PA news agency takes a closer look at the six contenders.

Tom Daley

Of all the 65 medals Team GB won at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, arguably none was better received than the long-awaited gold for Daley, 13 years after his first Games appearance in Beijing aged just 14.

Daley took top spot on the podium in the 10 metre synchro diving alongside Matty Lee, eclipsing the bronze medals he secured in London and Rio.

He competed in London still grieving the loss of his father to a brain tumour the year before. The year after those Games he came out as gay, and has become a vocal campaigner for the LGBTQ+ community in sport and wider society.

Tyson Fury

Tyson Fury's is the most controversial name on the BBC shortlist
Tyson Fury’s is the most controversial name on the BBC shortlist (Kieran Cleeves/PA)

He missed out on a top-three finish six years ago but was nominated again in 2020, and on that occasion threatened legal action if his name was not removed.

The BBC declined to do so, and on sporting grounds could hardly ignore the 33-year-old’s right to a place on this year’s list after he won the third fight in his trilogy against Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas in October to retain the WBC title.

Adam Peaty

Peaty is Mr Consistent and headed into Tokyo as the closest thing Britain had to a nailed-on gold in the 100 metres breaststroke, an event where at one point this year he had set the 20 fastest times ever recorded.

He duly delivered in that event but what was even better was how he helped to inspire Britain’s best-ever team performance in an Olympic pool.

Overall the swimmers claimed eight medals, with Peaty part of the 4x100m mixed medley relay team which took gold and the men’s medley relay team which secured silver.

He ended the year as a celebrity entrant on Strictly Come Dancing but the focus will switch back to swimming success in the new year.

Emma Raducanu

Emma Raducanu was a shock winner of the US Open women's singles title in September
Emma Raducanu was a shock winner of the US Open women’s singles title, aged 18, in September (ZUMA/PA)

In September she won the US Open, becoming the first British winner of a grand slam tennis tournament since Virginia Wade won Wimbledon in 1977, but it was the manner of that victory which made her achievement all the more remarkable.

Raducanu, 19, gave a first glimpse of her potential at Wimbledon, reaching the fourth round before being forced to withdraw from her match against Aja Tomljanovic with breathing difficulties.

But no one predicted the fairytale of New York which was about to unfold as she became the first qualifier ever to win a grand slam – and did so without even dropping a set.

She now finds herself one of the biggest names in British sport, which brings with it the pressure to build on that success at Flushing Meadows.

Raheem Sterling

Raheem Sterling's goals and guile powered England to the Euro 2020 final
Raheem Sterling’s goals and guile powered England to the Euro 2020 final (Mike Egerton/PA)

He set the tone with England’s opening goal against Croatia, gave England lift-off in the last 16 against Germany and helped bring about the equaliser against Denmark in the semi-final.

Sterling and the team were unable to find enough to see off Italy in the final, and he also finished as a Champions League final runner-up for Manchester City against Chelsea.

He did help City regain the Premier League title and win a fourth-straight Carabao Cup. His goal in the win over Wolves at the weekend was his 100th in the English top flight.

Dame Sarah Storey

Storey became Britain’s most successful Paralympian of all time with a 17th gold at the Tokyo Games with victory in the C4-5 cycling road race.

Tokyo was the 44-year-old’s eighth Paralympics overall, having first competed in the 1992 Barcelona Games in swimming.

She switched to cycling in 2005 and has enjoyed incredible success, and has already hinted she may look to add to her medal collection at the Paris Games in 2024.

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