Simon Reed

Will it be Muzza or Wiggo?

Simon Reed

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As we head towards the close of another sporting year there are probably two leading contenders for the British Sports Personality of the Year award: Andy Murray and Bradley Wiggins. Their feats this year justify such a standing.

I think the manner in which Murray won the US Open was obviously sensational. Winning the US Open, his first Grand Slam gong, in front of such a bustling crowd at Flushing Meadows in September obviously make Andy a strong contender. I say this because he had to look within himself in a stadium that can resemble a bear pit. It was a staggering mental effort from Murray to get himself over the line to win his first Grand Slam, especially in that final set when Novak Djokovic had been playing some exceptional tennis.

Will he now finish off the year by winning the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award? In any year, you would say yes, but 2012 has been a year like no other in British sport.

It may come down to what is more popular in the UK: tennis or cycling?  It is a fascinating thing to judge in the United Kingdom. I don't know how there can be clear favourite in such a close race.

Tennis gets more coverage in the United Kingdom than Wiggins did in winning the Tour de France, but Wimbledon is bigger than anything cycling can offer in the UK. You would have to say Murray's success is a higher profile performance in this particular country.

The way in which he won the US Open after losing in the Wimbledon final obviously adds to his prospects while having to fend off Djokovic the way he did after being forced to a fifth set from two sets up. There was also the sight of him overcoming Roger Federer for Olympic Gold at Wimbledon which nobody envisaged.

Personally, I think Wiggins is possibly the greater achievement even if they are both phenomenal feats of endurance and mental fortitude.

Wiggins just shades it when you add the Olympics to his success in the Tour because it is such a gruelling event.

But I don't think the general public will see it that way. Cycling attracts a lot of interest in the UK, and I think enthusiasts will rally around Wiggins.

His vote may also be split by other contenders from cycling if you consider that Chris Hoy will probably take some of the votes away from Wiggins.

There is also the nationalistic point to consider as you have to imagine Scotland will be out in force voting for Murray to win the trophy.

Murray is probably the slight favourite. He also could rise to prominence by performing well at the end of season World Tour finals in London before the year is out. Rory McIlroy could be a contender winning the US PGA Championship and the Ryder Cup while ending up as the world's number one golfer, but I think it remains a two-way fight.

Here is the latest odds in case you fancy a flutter. You can leave your comments below on who you think will win the final big trophy of the year.

Latest odds for British Sports Personality of the Year

Bradley Wiggins 4/6

Andy Murray 4/1

Mo Farah 11/2

Jessica Ennis 14/1

David Weir 40/1

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