Athletics world champions among the contenders for the 2015 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award

Britain’s three gold medallists at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing have all been included on the shortlist for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

Jessica Ennis-Hill, Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford are among the 12 nominees and are joined by footballer Lucy Bronze, cyclists Chris Froome and Lizzie Armitstead, tennis star Andy Murray, F1’s Lewis Hamilton, boxer Tyson Fury, swimmer Adam Peaty, gymnast Max Whitlock and rugby league’s Kevin Sinfield on the shortlist.

Ennis-Hill made a winning return to international competition in China as she regained the world heptathlon title she first won in 2009 just 13 months after the birth of her first child and injury problems, while Farah added another world distance double to his CV, claiming 5000m and 10,000m gold medals in Beijing. Rutherford completed a ‘grand slam’ of long jump titles, adding world gold to his Olympic, European and Commonwealth medals of the same colour, while he also won the Diamond Race in his event.

The winner will be announced on December 20 during a live Sports Personality of the Year show which is to be held in Northern Ireland for the first time, at Belfast’s SSE Arena.

Jo Pavey made the SPOTY podium in 2014, the European champion having been voted third behind Rory McIlroy and winner Lewis Hamilton.

Kelly Holmes was the last winner of SPOTY from the sport of athletics, the double Olympic gold medallist having claimed the award in 2004. Seb Coe, Daley Thompson, Fatima Whitbread and Paula Radcliffe are other athletics stars to have claimed the top honour in the past.

Jamaica’s Usain Bolt has again been nominated for the Overseas Sports Personality of the Year award, the triple Beijing World Championships gold medallist having claimed the award for the third time after his Olympic success in 2012.

Among the contenders for the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year award are heptathlete Morgan Lake, who claimed European junior high jump gold in Sweden and represented GB at the senior world championships in Beijing, and sprinter Sophie Hahn, who won three medals at the IPC World Championships in Doha – gold in the T38 100m and 4x100m relay and silver in the 200m – as well as breaking her own world record in the shorter sprint event.