McIlroy proud at award nomination
World golf number one Rory McIlroy has reacted with pride to the news that he is the only non-Olympian to earn a place on the 12-strong shortlist for this year's BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.
As expected, stars of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games dominate the list, while five female athletes have made the cut in contrast to last year's controversial all-male shortlist.
McIlroy, who won his second Major title this year, said: "I am delighted to be nominated again for Sports Personality of the Year. It is a real honour to be nominated two years in a row. With it being an Olympic year, and with so many outstanding achievements in British sport in 2012, the voting is sure to go right down to the wire."
McIlroy is joined on the shortlist by Nicola Adams, who made history by becoming the first Olympic women's boxing champion when she floored world number one Ren Cancan en route to a memorable points win in London.
Adams told the Press Association: "I didn't expect to be nominated, let along make the short list. There are so many big names on the list, and so many others who didn't make it, that I am just happy to be part of it. I have watched Sports Personality of the Year for years and I never once thought I would be part of it."
Katherine Grainger's British rowing team-mates reacted with delight to the news that Grainger, whose double sculls gold medal with Anna Watkins came on the back of three consecutive Olympic silvers, had also made a cut.
In a joint statement they said: "We are very proud that Katherine has made the shortlist, representing not only the rowing team but women in sport. She has given so much to her team and country that it is brilliant she is being recognised in this way."
Cyclist Bradley Wiggins is the bookmakers' odds-on favourite after his historic triumph in the Tour de France and gold in the Olympic time trial, ahead of Mo Farah, double gold medallist in the 5,000metres and 10,000m.
Shortlist (in alphabetical order): Nicola Adams (Olympic boxing), Ben Ainslie (Olympic sailing), Jessica Ennis (Olympic heptathlon), Mo Farah (Olympic 5,000m and 10,000m), Katherine Grainger (Olympic rowing), Sir Chris Hoy (Olympic cycling), Rory McIlroy (world number one golfer and USPGA champion), Andy Murray (Olympic tennis and US Open champion), Ellie Simmonds (Paralympic swimming), Sarah Storey (Paralympic cycling), David Weir (Paralympic wheelchair athlete), Bradley Wiggins (Olympic cycling and Tour de France winner).