Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, US Open winner Justin Rose, Tour de France title-holder Chris Froome and record-breaking jockey Tony McCoy head the list of nominees for the 2013 BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
Sailor Ben Ainslie, England cricketer Ian Bell, athletes Mo Farah and Christine Ohuruogu, wheelchair athlete Hannah Cockcroft and rugby union’s Leigh Halfpenny make up the 10-strong shortlist for the annual award.
Murray will probably start as the favourite after he ended Great Britain’s 77-year wait for a men’s singles title at Wimbledon by beating Novak Djokovic in straight sets, having previously lost to his opponent in the Australian Open final.
The Scot finished third in the BBC poll last year behind the winner Sir Bradley Wiggins and Jessica Ennis and if successful would become the fourth tennis player to win the award and the first since Greg Rusedski beat Tim Henman to the title in 1997.
However, he faces strong competition from some of the other front-runners.
Golfer Rose also ended a drought - albeit not as long as the one seen at Wimbledon - with victory in the US Open.
Rose became the first Englishman in 43 years to win the event as he produced a brilliant finish to see off the challenge of five-time major winner Phil Mickelson and Australian Jason Day at Merion.
Froome followed in the tyre tracks of Wiggins in winning the Tour de France a year after finishing runner-up to his team-mate.
The popular McCoy, winner of the award in 2010, added another chapter to his already extensive history in horse racing by claiming his 4,000th career win when he his mount Mountain Tunes won at Towcester in early November.
Ainslie was widely credited with turning around Team USA’s fortunes in the America’s Cup. He was brought in as a tactician as the hosts came from behind, winning the last eight races to pull off a remarkable victory.
Bell was nominated after England’s summer of Ashes success in which the Warwickshire batsman played a pivotal role with three centuries.
Farah continued where he left off in 2012 by winning both 5,000 metres and 10,000m world titles in Moscow, as well as breaking Steve Cram’s 28-year-old British 1500m record in Monaco in July.
Also in Moscow Ohuruogu won her second 400m world title, pipping Amantle Montsho by the narrowest of margins.
Having been awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours, Cockroft retained both her T34 100 metres and T34 200 metres titles at the IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon and won the T33/T34 100 metres race at the Anniversary Games at the Olympic Stadium with a stadium record time of 17.80 seconds.
Halfpenny played in all three Lions Tests in Australia in the summer and was named as player of the series, having already been voted Six Nations player of the year as Wales retained their title.
The 10 contenders will compete for the public vote on the night of the live show on December 15.
In addition to the main award there will also be awards for team of the year, coach of the year, Overseas Sports Personality of the Year, Young Sports Personality of the Year, Sports Personality of the Year Diamond Award, Helen Rollason Award and Sports Unsung Hero.
The shortlist was decided by a panel comprising representatives from the BBC, selected journalists, former nominees Dame Kelly Holmes, Baroness Grey-Thompson and Marcus Trescothick, and Liz Nicholl, chief executive of UK Sport.