Beth Mead the early favourite after BBC Sports Personality of the Year nominees revealed

England star Beth Mead leads the six-person shortlist for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

The Arsenal forward won the Golden Boot for leading scorer and was named player of the tournament during England's Euro 2022 victory in the summer.

Mead, who is the bookmakers' heavy favourite for the award, is joined on the shortlist by England cricket captain Ben Stokes, snooker star Ronnie O'Sullivan, gymnast Jessica Gadirova, curler Eve Muirhead and runner Jake Wightman.

Stokes won the award in 2019 and is in the running again after overseeing Test series wins over New Zealand, South Africa and Pakistan, while also playing a starring role in England's T20 World Cup victory.

O'Sullivan could claim the gong for the first time at the age of 47 after equalling Stephen Hendry's record by winning a seventh World Snooker Championship.

Muirhead's Olympic career had a golden ending with the skip leading her team to Great Britain's only gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Beijing before announcing her retirement.

Eighteen-year-old Gadirova and Wightman both became world champions in 2022, Gadirova with her floor routine and Wightman in the 1,500 metres.

The winner will be announced during the live show on BBC One on Wednesday.

It has already been announced that eight-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt will receive the Lifetime Achievement award while Argentina captain Lionel Messi is the World Sport Star of the Year following his World Cup-winning heroics in Qatar.

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