"Maybe Some People Don't See Mo As British", Says Alistair Brownlee

Triathlete struggles to understand Sports Personality of the Year results

Triathlete Alistair Brownlee has said he's surprised fellow Sports Personality of the Year contender Mo Farah failed to finish in the top three of the BBC prize and suggested it could be because "some people don't see him as British."

Brownlee, who came second behind Andy Murray, say Farah would have won his vote after retaining Gold at the Rio Olympics in both the 5000m and 10000m titles.

"For me Mo's achievements are incredible and what stands out about them is that no one from this country has ever done them before," he said. "There is a good chance that no one will again. It's not like someone does it every year – it is a complete one-off in what are two very competitive, blue riband athletic events."

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

"I'm not sure why he's not in the top three," he continued. "It doesn't necessarily help if you're not there on the night; maybe some people don't see him as British. He trains abroad, too.

"It's really sad, because for me he is the perfect British story. It's what we should be about: a person who comes to Britain as a young man, as a refugee, and an ex‑schoolteacher identifies something that he's brilliant at and he represents Britain as the best in the world. I think that's a fantastic British story."

One small mercy for both Brownlee and Farah is that neither had to endure a full minute of wordless smiling as the show's credits rolled – a fate the befell Andy Murray in one of 2016's top TV cringers.