2011 BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year: Top three

Lucy Garner, Eleanor Simmonds and Lauren Taylor have been selected from a shortlist of 10 to battle it out for the 2011 Young Sports Personality of the Year title.

Garner, the 2011 junior road race world champion, Simmonds, the two-time European gold medallist, and Taylor, the 2011 British Ladies' Open amateur champion, were chosen by a panel chaired by BBC Sport presenter John Inverdale.

Inverdale said: "This is the strongest field we've ever had for this award, and we had an extremely tough decision to shorten the list down to three."

The panel also included BBC Sport's Jake Humphrey, presenter Sonali Shah, Newsround's Ore Oduba, previous Young Sports Personality of the Year winner Amy Spencer and representatives from the Youth Sport Trust and BBC Sports Personality of the Year editorial team.

The accolade, which is awarded by the BBC in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust, will be handed to the winner at the Sports Personality of the Year event at MediaCityUK, Salford, on Thursday, 22 December.

In addition to the three young stars still in contention, the original shortlist of 10 also included: Liam Broady (tennis), Sally Brown (athletics), Tom Daley (diving), Jack Laugher (diving), Pat McCormack (boxing), Laura Robson (tennis) and Anthony Watson (rugby union).

The award is made to the outstanding young sportsperson aged 16 or under on 1 January 2011. Previous winners include Tom Daley, Andy Murray, Wayne Rooney, Eleanor Simmonds and Theo Walcott.

Lucy Garner 17, Cycling

Cyclist Lucy Garner became the junior road race world champion in Copenhagen in 2011, making her Britain's first medallist in the event since Nicole Cooke, who claimed victory in 2000 and 2001.

Lucy Garner
Lucy Garner

Garner also became the Youth Commonwealth Games road race champion and team time trial champion this year, while she also won individual bronze in the circuit race.

On the track, Lucy won the senior national madison title and three silver medals at the Junior National Track Championships.

World and Olympic champion Victoria Pendleton:

"Lucy has had a great 2011 so I believe she deserves to win the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year award.

"Her success in the junior women's road race at the World Championships in September was such a great performance and she's obviously got a great career ahead of her."

Eleanor Simmonds 17, Swimming

In July, Paralympic swimmer Eleanor Simmonds won four medals in individual events at the IPC European Swimming Championships in Berlin - two gold, a silver and a bronze.

Eleanor Simmonds
Eleanor Simmonds

Simmonds - who won the Young Sports Personality award in 2008 - also set two new world records, in the S6 400m freestyle and SM6 200m individual medley.

Eleanor won gold in the 200m individual medley (SM6) at the Paralympic World Cup in Manchester and set a world record in the S6 800m freestyle at the German Open.

Paralympic Champion, Graham Edmunds:

"There is probably not much you can say about Ellie Simmonds that has not already been said, which is an accolade in itself for someone so young.

"Ellie is an amazing ambassador for swimming and Paralympic sport as a whole. I get to see Ellie everyday at training and we all have good days and bad, but through it all she is just one of our gang and will do anything for any of us if we need it.

"Ellie is deserving of any and every award she is nominated for, whether in the field of sport or otherwise."

Lauren Taylor 17, Golf

Lauren Taylor won the 2011 Ladies' British Open Amateur Championship at Royal Portrush and became the youngest ever winner, breaking a record that had stood for 112 years.

Lauren Taylor
Lauren Taylor

She went on to play against professionals in the Women's British Open at Carnoustie, carding two creditable rounds of 74.

In addition, Lauren was selected to be part of the European Team that drew 12-12 with the USA at the 2011 Junior Solheim Cup.

In November, she accepted a sports scholarship in Dallas, Texas.

Ian Poulter, Ryder Cup player and world number 25:

"I first met Lauren and saw her play this year at the IJP Invitational, a junior golf tournament that I host at Woburn Golf Club.

"She is not only a great golfer, who in fact won the tournament that day, but an extremely well rounded young woman."