December 2023

BBC Sports Personality World Sport Star of the Year contenders

BBC Sports Personality World Sport Star of the Year contenders

The 2023 contenders for the BBC Sports Personality World Sport Star of the Year have been confirmed as: Simone Biles, Aitana Bonmati, Novak Djokovic, Erling Haaland, Siya Kolisi and Max Verstappen. Audiences can have their say on who they want to be crowned winner by heading to the BBC Sport website or app and casting their vote. The winner will be announced during the 70th anniversary, star-studded programme on Tuesday 19 December, live from dock10 studios on BBC One and iPlayer.

Simone Biles (USA): Biles is the most decorated gymnast in history after a golden display at the World Gymnastics Championships. Despite this being the American's first worlds since 2019 she easily surpassed the previous record of 33 medals won at an Olympics or World Championships, held by Vitaly Scherbo. At the championships in Antwerp, she claimed a record-equalling sixth all-around title, a sixth floor title and her fourth gold on the beam, while collecting the fifth team gold of her glittering career. She also won her eighth US Gymnastics title, breaking a 90-year-old record held by Alfred Jochim.

Aitana Bonmati (Spain): The Spanish midfielder enjoyed a hugely successful year for both club and country. Her performances in Australia, where she scored three goals, helped Spain win its first ever Women’s World Cup final with a victory over England. Her talent was recognised and she was named as Player of the Tournament. Bonmati was also a key player in her all-conquering Barcelona side which won Liga F – Spain's top flight – as well as the Champions League, in which she contributed an assist in the final. Her list of honours includes winning the Women's Ballon d'Or in October and UEFA's player of the year in August.

Novak Djokovic (Serbia): Djokovic continued to smash records in yet another dominant year. He began with a record-extending 10th Australian Open, before success at the French Open saw him become the first man in history to win each Grand Slam at least three times. He went on to lift the US Open to secure a 24th Grand Slam triumph to tie Margaret Court's all-time record of major singles titles. Outside of the Slams, he won a record-breaking seventh ATP Finals title and surpassed Steffi Graf's mark for the most weeks spent at the top of the rankings with his tally now over 400.

Erling Haaland (Norway): Haaland's goals helped Manchester City claim an historic treble in 2023. Alongside this, his individual awards for the season included both the Premier League's Player and Young Player of the Season, the Football Writers' Association's Footballer of the Year, the UEFA Men's Player of the Year and the Gerd Muller Trophy at the Ballon d'Or awards for Best Goalscorer – where he also came second in the voting for best player. He claimed the Premier League's Golden Boot with a record 36 goals in 38 games, and his 52 goals in all competitions was the most by a Premier League player within a season.

Siya Kolisi (South Africa): The iconic South African led his country to an historic fourth Rugby World Cup title with a tense victory over New Zealand. Their win made him only the second captain to lift the trophy at successive tournaments after All Blacks legend Richie McCaw. Kolisi's Springbok side won all three of their knockout games by just a single point. He only returned to the team during their World Cup warm-up campaign after recovering from a serious knee injury. South Africa's first black captain said afterwards that he hoped his country would be united by his team's victory.

Max Verstappen (Netherlands): Verstappen became a triple Formula One world champion in a record-breaking season in which he retained his title with six races remaining, making him just the fifth driver in history to win the title in successive years. The Dutchman extended his own record of most races won in a season to 19, meaning he took the chequered flag in 86% of grands prix smashing the previous mark set by Alberto Ascari in 1952. His margin of victory over Sergio Perez was a massive 290 points, the biggest ever difference between first and second in the Drivers' Championship.