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British triathlon world champions miss out on nominations for BBC SPOTY award

Neither Lucy Charles-Barclay nor Beth Potter have made the shortlist for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

News Director
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Neither IRONMAN World Champion Lucy Charles-Barclay nor WTCS winner Beth Potter have made it onto the list of six nominations for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, which was revealed earlier today.

Potter has already won the top two awards at the Scottish Sports Awards after a season which saw her claim a first world title, while there had been strong support for Charles-Barclay to be included in the BBC list after her record-breaking Kona triumph, which came after four successive second places in the sport’s biggest long-distance race.

Advocates included Alistair Brownlee, who provided triathlon’s only appearance on the SPOTY podium so far in 2016 after he successfully defended his Olympic title in Rio and famously helped brother Jonny make it to the finish line in Cozumel.


KJT among the contenders

There is ‘multi sport’ representation in the shortlist in Katarina Johnson-Thompson, who won her second heptathlon World Championship title in Budapest.

She’s joined by footballer Mary Earps, cricketer Stuart Broad, jockey Frankie Dettori, wheelchair tennis player Alfie Hewett and golfer Rory McIlroy.

And early reaction on social media saw plenty of people suggest that both Charles-Barclay and snooker player Ronnie O’Sullivan, still winning titles at the age of 48, were two of the glaring omissions.

On the BBC’s tweet which unveiled the nominations, this was one of the responses: “Shocking selection. Stuart Broad is a legend. But won nothing major this year. Rory won nothing major this year. @LucyAnneCharles is Ironman world champion!! Lots more examples.”

Lucy Charles Barclay wins 2023 IRONMAN World Championship photo credit Getty Images for IRONMAN
[Photo credit: Getty Images for IRONMAN]

Earps leading the way?

Charles-Barclay is following in the footsteps of triathlon legend Chrissie Wellington, who became the first Briton to win in Kona and landed her fourth title in 2011 but didn’t get nominated that year on what was an all-male 10-person shortlist.

Wellington said on Twitter at the time: “No women in @bbcspoty top ten. It’s not about me, it’s about the need to celebrate achievements of so many female GBR athletes. Disgraceful.”

But gender parity that triathlon is rightly so proud of has been more in evidence at the awards in recent years and there’s every chance of a third female winner in a row, with Earps a strong favourite to follow her England team-mate Beth Mead to the award, with tennis player Emma Raducanu having won in 2021.

And hopefully both Charles-Barclay and Potter’s incredible achievements to be crowned the best in the world at their respective distances will get airtime on the night, with the live show broadcast on BBC One on Tuesday 19 December.

Beth Potter World Triathlon Championship Finals 2023
Photo Credit: Wagner Araujo / World Triathlon
Jonathan Turner
Written by
Jonathan Turner
Jonathan Turner is News Director for both TRI247 and RUN247, and is accustomed to big-name interviews, breaking news stories and providing unrivalled coverage for endurance sports.  
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