Two of the ATP World Tour’s biggest stars have been nominated for Laureus World Sports Awards, following a ballot of the world’s media. Scot Andy Murray has been nominated for the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award and is competing against Usain Bolt, already a three-time Laureus winner, 5k and 10k Olympic champion Mo Farah, Cristiano Ronaldo and basketball duo Stephen Curry and LeBron James.
Juan Martin del Potro is in contention for the Laureus Comeback of the Year Award and also has stiff competition. The Argentine is up against Michael Phelps, the most successful Olympian ever, Spain’s high jumper Ruth Beitia, British show jumper Nick Skelton, Mauritius triathlete Fabienne St Louis and Norwegian skier Aksel Lund Svindal.
Olympians fill all six nomination places for the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award, including Americans Simone Biles, Katie Ledecky and Allyson Felix. German WTA No. 1 Angelique Kerber, Jamaican sprint star Elaine Thompson and British cyclist Laura Kenny are the remaining nominees.
Laureus World Sports Academy Chairman Sean Fitzpatrick: “You always know in an Olympic year you are going to see a strong group of nominees and this year has certainly proved that. What delights me is that we have an amazing mix of some of the greatest names in sport who have been performing at the highest level for as long as a decade, combined with some of the most exciting new faces we have seen for many years. It really is going to be an exceptional Laureus Awards.”
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In another strong category, Mercedes AMG Petronas are nominated for the third straight year for the Laureus World Team of the Year Award, along with three football teams: European Champions Portugal, Champions League winners Real Madrid and Neymar-inspired Olympic gold medal winners Brazil. American teams Chicago Cubs, winner of their first baseball World Series for 108 years, and NBA champions Cleveland Cavaliers, led by LeBron James, are also shortlisted.
After finishing second in 2014 and 2015, Nico Rosberg finally won the Formula One World Championship last year and has earned nomination for the Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award. Joining him are Olympic world-record breakers Almaz Ayana and Wayde van Niekerk, and three teams who performed heroically in 2016: English Premier League Champions Leicester City, European Championship quarter-finalists Iceland and Olympic Rugby Sevens gold medal winners Fiji.
The Rio Paralympic Games provide all six nominees for the highly respected Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability Award: Swimmers Ihar Boki from Belarus and New Zealand’s Sophie Pascoe; visually-impaired Cuban sprinter Omara Durand, Iran weightlifter Siamand Rahman, Swiss wheelchair racer Marcel Hug and Italian fencer Beatrice Vio.
The men’s and women’s surfing world champions John John Florence and Tyler Wright are nominated for the Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year Award, along with snowboarder Chloe Kim, skateboarder Pedro Barros, mountain biker Rachel Atherton and Estonia’s freestyle skier Kelly Sildaru, who at 13 became the youngest ever winner of a gold medal at the Winter X-Games.
The eventual winners, as voted for by members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, will be revealed in Monaco on February 14. For the first time ever, sports fans will have the chance to make their voices heard in a brand new Best Sporting Moment of the Year Award, which will celebrate the power of sport. More information coming soon.
While celebrating the greatest sporting successes of the year, the Laureus Awards Ceremony also showcases the work of Laureus Sport for Good, which uses the power of sport to end violence, discrimination and disadvantage, proving that sport can change the world. Today Laureus supports more than 100 programmes, in around 40 countries. Their work to transform society is championed by the Laureus World Sports Academy of more than 60 legends of sport. They are supported by more than 180 Laureus Ambassadors.