Tuesday December 2nd, 2008
BEN AINSLIE SHORT-LISTED FOR AWARD
It has been an amazing year for Ben Ainslie. Britainís most successful ever Olympic Sailor has so far been named ISAF Male World Champion, claimed his third consecutive gold and fourth Olympic medal at Beijing and now he is in the running to become the BBC Sports personality of the year.
Last night it was revealed that Ainslie had made the final shortlist of 10 nominations and if he wins he will be the first sailor to do so since 1954. With a decade of domination in the sport behind him, it would seem a perfectly fitting reward. He has certainly come an awful long way since he became Britainís youngest-ever Olympic sailing medallist during his Games debut in Atlanta at the age of 19 where he took Laser class silver.
This was followed by a gold at Sydney in 2000 after which he switched to the bigger Finn class and has remained unbeaten in the class since 2004. With his third golden success in Qingdao he has joined the elite band of only 10 Brit athletes to win three or more Olympic Crowns.
This year Ainslie has also sailed to victory with the Skandia Team GBR at the Finn Gold Cup in Melbourne in January. He claimed his fourth European class crown in May as well sailing to victory in Grade 1 events in Sidney and the Princess Sophia Trophy in Palma.
This years BBC Sports Personality of the Year is being held at the Liverpool Echo arena on Sunday 14th December, with voting only taking place by phone during the live broadcast. Numbers for voting will be revealed on the night and calls from landlines will be 15pence. We wish all the nominees good luck.
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