Mo Farrah wins SPOTY
Last updated: December 19, 2017 by Leon Marshal
Mo Farrah has been named as The BBC’s Sports Personality of The Year for 2017. Sir Mohamed Muktar Jama “Mo” Farah defied the bookmaker’s odds to pick up the award for excellence in sporting achievement.
Before the winners were announced, Farrah was a 50/1 shot to pick up the prestigious prize and the news shocked many viewers and even the great man himself who admitted that he faced formidable competition.
The four-time Olympic champion didn’t attend the event in person but was instead broadcast via video-link when the winner was announced. The World 10,000m champion admitted he wished he was there in person to collect the award but an illness of his two-year-old son Hussein had prevented that from happening.
He said in a message that was broadcast to the audience at the awards that he never felt he would get his hands on the annual award.
Mo, in his message, was referring to the fact that he had previously been shortlisted five times and managed to finish third in 2011. Since his retirement from the track and his re-branding as a marathon runner, many people thought his chance at Sports Personality of the Year had been and gone.
It could be that the British public wanted to remember a hero and award him posthumously but while he was still alive of course but whatever the reason it was still a seismic shock result.
Broadcast descends into chaos
The awards ceremony was hampered by technical problems when the live stream of Mo, who had his face in his hands in shock when he hears he has won, is soon replaced by a big blue screen of death and the feed abruptly stops. This led to an awkward gap until finally the video is resumed and we hear from a surprised Farrah who was quick to pay tribute to the people who he had beaten to the prize.
Who was the favourite to win?
Without doubt the hot favourite to win was Britain’s Heavyweight Champion of the World, Anthony Joshua. The 28-year-old from Watford beat both Wladimir Klitschko and Carlos Takam this year to win and defend the IBF, WBA and IBO titles and such is the popularity of the quiet, unassuming boxer that many thought this was a forgone conclusion. Joshua however finished fourth, just 18 votes from a top-three placing.
Another global sports star to miss out was Formula One champion, Lewis Hamilton. The 32-year-old was highly fancied to win the award which he last won in 2014 and has twice finished second. Hamilton, who wasn’t there in person but was also interviewed via video-link by Gary Lineker was quick to play down talk of retirement.
In the public vote Paralympic star, Jonnie Peacock was third with 73,429 votes and Superbike champion Jonathan Rea was runner-up with 80,567 votes.
Sir Mo Farrah’s total of 83,524 votes meant this was one of the closest votes in the history of the awards and probably the most shocking since Princess Ann beat George Best to the title way back in 1971.