IF Paula Radcliffe doesn't win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award we might as well all pack up and go home.

Last weekend's shattering of the world marathon record in Chicago added yet another title to the collection for a woman who until this year couldn't buy a win.

World cross country champion, world half marathon champion, London and Chicago marathons champion, the first and third fastest times ever recorded by a woman in the only two marathons she has ever run and glorious gold medals in the Commonwealth Games and European Championships, she has gone from perennial valiant loser to the undisputed queen of world long distance running in 12 truly amazing months.

Surely the year will end with the sports personality award she fully deserves a million times more than any other British sports person. But then again the public will probably vote for David Beckham again. He's won nothing, had a terrible World Cup, is struggling for form, can't head, tackle or run past people - but he's got a cracking hair cut.