Paris, France | AFP | Britain’s four-time Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah was named BBC sports personality of the year for the first time on Sunday, edging out motorcycling champion Jonathan Rea to the award.
Farah, 34, successfully defended his 10,000-metre title at the World Championships in August, although he missed out on another distance double after taking silver in the 5,000m.
He retired from the track later that same month to focus on road racing and has said he could run the marathon at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Farah earned 83,524 votes — 2,957 more than Northern Irishman Rea, who became the first rider to win three consecutive World Superbike titles, while double Paralympic champion Jonnie Peacock came third.
Heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua, the bookies’ favourite to land the prize, finished fourth in a year that saw the 28-year-old defeat Ukraine’s Wladimir Klitschko in an epic world title fight.
“It is pretty amazing and hard to think about,” Farah, who was not present at the awards ceremony in Liverpool, told those in attendance via video link.
“I didn’t imagine I was ever going to win this but anything can happen. If you work hard you can achieve your dreams.
“I just cannot believe I have won.”
Roger Federer was voted BBC overseas sports personality of the year for a record fourth time earlier in the week after an astonishing season during which he picked up two more Grand Slam titles.