Marlow rower to take on the best of Team GB

Bucks Free Press: Katherine Grainger Katherine Grainger

MARLOW’S Olympic gold medalist Katherine Grainger will compete against some of Team GB’s most successful stars for one of the country’s top awards next month.

Grainger has been named on the shortlist for the 2012 BBC Sports Personality of the Year alongside the likes of Bradley Wiggins, Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah, Andy Murray and Sir Chris Hoy.

Grainger earned her place in that company after taking gold at Eton Dorney in one of the stories of the Games.

Silvers in the three previous Olympiads meant she went to London 2012 as one the greatest spostwomen of her generation, but with a gaping gap on her CV.

Her quest to finally win gold captured the imagination of the country and alongside Anna Watkins she provided one of the moments of the Games when she stormed to a resounding win.

She has since been named the Sunday Times Olympian of the Year and also won the World Rowing Female Crew of the Year gong with Watkins.

But while the 37-year-old six-time world champion has exceptional credentials, she is up against a stellar cast this year.

Cyclist Wiggins is the early favourite after winning Olympic gold medal in the time trial less than two weeks after becoming the first Briton to win the Tour de France.

Mo Farah is second favourite after starring in successive Super Saturdays inside the Olympic Stadium, when he won the 5,000m and 10,000m in such nerveless fashion to become the first Briton to do that double, while Ennis, the ‘face of the Games’, and Grand Slam and Olympic winner Murray are also well-backed.

In fact, so tough is the competition this year that organisers have upped the nominations from ten to 12 to get everyone in.

The ceremony will take place in front of a sell-out crowd of 15,000 at the Excel Centre in London on December 16.

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