The world and Olympic heptathlon champion is voted third in BBC Sports Personality of the Year

Jessica Ennis-Hill has followed up her double win in the Athletics Weekly Readers’ Choice Awards with being voted third in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY).

The world and Olympic heptathlon champion made the SPOTY podium on Sunday (December 20) along with winner Andy Murray and runner-up Kevin Sinfield.

Ennis-Hill made a winning return to international competition this year as she regained the world heptathlon title she first won in 2009. Her victory came just 13 months after the birth of her first child and also followed injury problems.

Shortly after her win in Beijing in August, Ennis-Hill had said: “This is definitely one of the greatest moments of my career, I still can’t believe it.

“Me and Toni (Minichiello, her coach) spoke about coming here and we only wanted to come here if I was ready to contend for a medal. We spoke about the bronze medal and how that would be amazing, we spoke about a silver medal, but we never spoke about a gold medal. I just thought it was a little beyond me this year.”

The London 2012 Olympic champion had only returned to competitive action in May after nearly two years out as she struggled with injury in 2013 and then gave birth to her first child, Reggie, in July 2014. Following her achievements, AW readers voted her top in two categories – international female and British female – in the Athletics Weekly Readers’ Choice Awards.

Ennis-Hill was voted second in the 2012 BBC SPOTY after her Olympic success, while she has also placed third on two other occasions, in 2009 and 2010.

Her fellow athletics world champions Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford had also been included on the 12-strong SPOTY shortlist and placed seventh and ninth respectively.

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.

British 100m and 200m record-holder Dina Asher-Smith was also among the athletes on the SPOTY stage at Belfast’s SSE Arena as she helped to present the BBC Young Sports Personality award to gymnast Ellie Downie. 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 and broke her own 100m world record, had been among the nominees on the initial 10-strong list.

Usain Bolt was nominated for the the Overseas Sports Personality of the Year which was won by New Zealand rugby star Dan Carter.

Full BBC SPOTY results

Andy Murray 361,446 votes
Kevin Sinfield 278,353
Jessica Ennis-Hill 79,898
Tyson Fury 72,330
Lewis Hamilton 48,379
Chris Froome 39,007
Mo Farah 31,311
Max Whitlock 25,925
Greg Rutherford 23,492
Lizzie Armitstead 22,356
Adam Peaty 13,738
Lucy Bronze 13,236