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Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge nominated for Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award along with Novak Djokovic, Tom Brady

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge has been nominated for the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge has been nominated for the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP

Published Feb 2, 2022

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Johannesburg - Kenyan marathoner Eliud Kipchoge on Wednesday was named as one of the six nominees for Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award.

The battle for the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award will be one of the most competitive ever.

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Tom Brady, the NFL’s greatest-ever quarterback, is nominated along with Bayern Munich’s prolific goalscorer Robert Lewandowski, new Formula One world champion Max Verstappen, tennis world No.1 Novak Djokovic, and two of the greatest Olympians: swimmer Caeleb Dressel, who won five gold medals in Tokyo, and Eliud Kipchoge, who won back-to-back marathon gold medals.

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Legendary track athlete and Laureus Academy Member Sebastian Coe said: “I think we have to conclude that Eliud Kipchoge is now the greatest marathon runner of all time. I had the great privilege of watching him win his Olympic title in Sapporo. He was so in command of that race that day. His contribution to athletics is Muhammad Ali-esque.”

Several historic Olympic performances dominate the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award category: Elaine Thompson-Herah matched fellow Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt with gold medals in the 100, 200 and 4x100 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 No.1 tennis player Ashleigh Barty, who won Wimbledon, and Alexia Putellas, captain of FC Barcelona’s Women’s Team.

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Laureus Academy Member and athletics legend Michael Johnson said: “There's another athlete who just completely dominated their sport last year. Elaine Thompson-Herah, 100 metres, 200 metres, repeating as champion, which is very difficult to do, and threatening one of the oldest and most impressive world records in the books, the women's 100 metres. I mean, we haven't talked about anyone threatening that record for years.”

Full list of Nominees:

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Laureus World Sportsman of The Year Award

Tom Brady (USA) American Football – the greatest NFL quarterback, he won a record seventh Super Bowl Novak Djokovic (Serbia) Tennis - won three Grand Slams in 2021 to take his total of career wins to 20 Caeleb Dressel (USA) Swimming - outstanding male swimmer in Tokyo with five Olympic gold medals

Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya) Athletics – became third person in history to win back-to-back Olympic marathons Robert Lewandowski (Poland) Football - surpassed Gerd Muller’s record of 40 goals in a season for Bayern Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Motor Racing - won his first Formula One World Championship in 2021

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Laureus World Sportswoman of The Year Award

Ashleigh Barty (Australia) Tennis – world No.1, won Wimbledon, her second career Grand Slam
Allyson Felix (USA) Athletics - surpassed Carl Lewis as the most decorated track and field US Olympian Katie Ledecky (USA) Swimming - won 800 and 1,500 metres freestyle golds in Tokyo, plus two silver medals Emma McKeon (Australia) Swimming – won four gold and three bronze in Tokyo, 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 100 and 200 metres and 4x100m relay

Laureus World Team of The Year Award

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, beating English club Chelsea 4-0 China Olympic Diving Team – won gold medals in seven of the eight events staged in the pool in Tokyo

Italy Men’s Football Team – under Roberto Mancini won European Championship for first time since 1968 Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team (Germany) – won record eighth Constructors Championship Milwaukee Bucks (USA) Basketball – inspired by Giannis Antetokounmpo, won a second NBA championship

Laureus World Breakthrough of The Year Award

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

Daniil Medvedev (Russia) Tennis – won his first ever Grand Slam, dropping only one set in the US Open Pedri (Spain) Football – 19, played 53 times in 2020/21 for Barcelona, and every game for Spain in Euro 2020 Emma Raducanu (UK) Tennis - became a global sensation when she won the US Open at the age of 18 Yulimar Rojas (Venezuela) Athletics – broke 26-year-old world record to win triple jump gold in Tokyo Ariarne Titmus (Australia) Swimming – aged 20, beat champion Katie Ledecky at 200 and 400m in Tokyo

Laureus World Comeback of The Year Award

Simone Biles (USA) Gymnastics – after withdrawing in Tokyo, she 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 in 581 days, 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

Diede De Groot (Netherlands) Wheelchair Tennis - first player to complete the calendar-year Golden Slam Marcel Hug (Switz) Wheelchair Athletics – won Paralympic gold medals in 800, 1,500, 5,000m and marathon Shingo Kunieda (Japan) Wheelchair Tennis - host-nation hero, won fourth Paralympic gold of his career Jetze Plat (Netherlands) Para Cycling / Para Triathlon – won three Paralympic gold medals in two sports Susana Rodríguez (Spain) Para Triathlon – won gold in Tokyo in triathlon PTVI, her first Paralympic medal Sarah Storey (UK) Para Cycling - won three golds from three events to take her career total to 17

Laureus World Action Sportsperson of The Year Award

Ítalo Ferreira (Brazil) Surfing – in Tokyo became the first-ever surfing Olympic gold medal winner
Alberto Ginés (Spain) Climbing – aged 18, scaled 15-metre wall in 6.42 seconds to win speed climbing gold Yuto Horigome (Japan) Skateboarding - won first ever skateboarding Olympic gold to delight of host nation Carissa Moore (USA) Surfing – won first ever women’s Olympic surfing gold, then added her fifth world title Momiji Nishiya (Japan) Skateboarding – at 13, won first-ever Olympic gold medal in women's street event Bethany Shriever (UK) BMX – first woman to win both Olympic and World Championship gold in same year

Laureus Sport for Good Award

Programmes shortlisted by a specialist selection panel; Laureus Academy select the winner

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/Softball – works in Chicago to decrease violence and improve social conditions

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

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