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Some of the world’s greatest sportsmen, sportswomen and teams have been nominated for the 2022 Laureus World Sports Awards, following a ballot by global sports media.

Despite continuing disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the return of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, football’s European Championship and other major tournaments and events in 2021 delivered some stand-out performances across the globe.

The battle for the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year features the likes of Tom Brady, the NFL’s greatest-ever quarterback, Bayern Munich’s prolific goal scorer Robert Lewandowski, F1 world champion Max Verstappen, and tennis world No1 Novak Djokovic.

Several historic Olympic performances dominate the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year category: Elaine Thompson-Herah matched Usain Bolt with gold medals in the 100, 200 and 4×100 metres relay; Allyson Felix passed Carl Lewis as the most decorated track and field US Olympian; Australian swimmer Emma McKeon’s four gold and three bronze medals tied the record for the most won by a woman in a single Olympic Games; and American swimmer Katie Ledecky won two more gold and two silver medals.

Also short-listed are world No1 tennis player and Wimbledon champion Ashleigh Barty, and Alexia Putellas, captain of FC Barcelona’s Women’s Team.

Briton Emma Raducanu is one of the nominees for the Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award, along with fellow US Open 2021 champion Daniil Medvedev.

Raducanu, who went on to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, is one of six British nominations for an award for their 2021 achievements. Also honoured is Olympic skateboarder Sky Brown, along with gold medallists from the Tokyo Games, Tom Daley and Bethany Shriever. Sarah Storey, whose three Paralympic golds increased her career tally to 17, is also recognised. Completing the UK list is Mark Cavendish, who made history with his 34th stage win at the Tour De France, equalling Eddie Merckx’s record: He appears in the Comeback category.

Six nominees have been shortlisted in each of seven categories, with the winners to be revealed in April, following a vote by the Laureus World Sports Academy, the ultimate sports jury comprising 71 sporting legends such as Nadia Comaneci, Nicole David, Kapil Dev, Emerson Fittipaldi, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Chris Hoy, Michael Johnson, Sebastian Coe, and Martina Navratilova.

The nominees

Sportsman of the year

Tom Brady (USA) American Football, won a record seventh Super Bowl

Novak Djokovic (Serbia) Tennis, won three Majors in 2021 to reach a total of 20

Caeleb Dressel (USA) Swimming, won five Olympic gold medals

Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya) Athletics, third person ever to win back-to-back Olympic marathons

Robert Lewandowski (Poland) Football, a record of 40 goals in a season for Bayern

Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Motor Racing, won his first Formula 1 World Championship

Sportswoman of the year

Ashleigh Barty (Australia) Tennis, world No1, won Wimbledon, her second Major

Allyson Felix (USA) Athletics, became most decorated track and field US Olympian

Katie Ledecky (USA) Swimming, won 800 and 1,500 metres freestyle Olympic golds, plus two silver medals

Emma McKeon (Australia) Swimming, won four gold and three bronze Olympic medals the most by an individual

Alexia Putellas (Spain) Football, Barcelona captain; won Ballon d’Or and UEFA Women’s Player of Year

Elaine Thompson-Herah (Jamaica) Athletics, won Olympic 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay

Team of the year

Argentina Men’s Football Team, won Copa America; Lionel Messi’s first international trophy, at age of 34

Barcelona Women’s Football Team (Spain), won first Champions League

China Olympic Diving Team, won gold medals in seven of the eight events staged

Italy Men’s Football Team, won European Championship for first time since 1968 Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team (Germany), won record eighth Constructors Championship

Milwaukee Bucks (USA) Basketball, won a second NBA championship

Breakthrough of the year

Neeraj Chopra (India) Athletics, won javelin to become India’s first winner of an Olympic athletics gold

Daniil Medvedev (Russia) Tennis, won his first Major at the US Open

Pedri (Spain) Football, played 53 times in 2020/21 for Barcelona, and every game for Spain in Euro 2020

Emma Raducanu (UK) Tennis, won the US Open at the age of 18

Yulimar Rojas (Venezuela) Athletics, broke world record to win triple jump Olympic gold

Ariarne Titmus (Australia) Swimming, beat champion Ledecky at 200 and 400m in Tokyo

Comeback of the year

Simone Biles (USA) Gymnastics, after withdrawing in Tokyo, came back to win bronze in the beam

Sky Brown (UK) Skateboarding, aged 13, recovered from fractured skull to win bronze medal in Tokyo

Mark Cavendish (UK) Cycling, fought back from depression to win second Tour de France sprint title

Tom Daley (UK) Diving, had knee surgery in June, but won 10 metres synchronised gold in Tokyo

Marc Márquez (Spain) Motor Cycling, first win after recovering from broken arm at start of 2020

Annemiek van Vleuten (Netherlands) Cycling, won Olympic time trial days after missing gold in road race

Sportsperson with a disability

Diede De Groot (Netherlands) Wheelchair Tennis, first player to complete the calendar-year Golden Slam

Marcel Hug (Switz) Wheelchair Athletics, won Paralympic gold in 800, 1,500, 5,000m and marathon

Shingo Kunieda (Japan) Wheelchair Tennis, won fourth Paralympic gold of his career

Jetze Plat (Netherlands) Para Cycling/Triathlon, won three Paralympic golds in two sports

Susana Rodríguez (Spain) Para Triathlon, won first Paralympic gold medal

Sarah Storey (UK) Para Cycling, won three golds from three events to take career total to 17

World action sportsperson of year

Ítalo Ferreira (Brazil) Surfing, first-ever surfing Olympic gold medal winner

Alberto Ginés (Spain) Climbing, aged 18, won speed climbing gold

Yuto Horigome (Japan) Skateboarding, won first ever skateboarding Olympic gold

Carissa Moore (USA) Surfing, won first ever Olympic surfing gold, then added a fifth world title

Momiji Nishiya (Japan) Skateboarding, at 13, won first Olympic gold medal in women’s street event

Bethany Shriever (UK) BMX, first woman to win both Olympic and World gold in same year

Sport for Good award

Ich will da rauf! (Germany) Climbing, disabled and non-disabled share challenge of the climbing wall

Jucà Pe Cagnà (Italy) Multi-sport, provides safe places to play away from the influence of crime

Kick 4 Life (Lesotho) Football, supports young people through health education and HIV testing

Lost Boyz Inc (USA) Baseball, uses baseball to decrease violence and improve social conditions

Monkey Magic (Japan) Climbing, promotes free climbing for those with visual impairment

Source: Sport Review


Author: Ellen Garcia