World champion Springboks nominated for Laureus Team of the Year
CAPE TOWN – The Springboks are in the running for yet another major crown after being nominated for the Team of the Year award by Laureus on Wednesday.
The Boks, led by their first black captain Siya Kolisi, pulled off a remarkable Rugby World Cup triumph when they beat England 32-12 in the final in Yokohama last November.
They will be up against a stellar list of top sporting teams from around the world for the Laureus award at a function in Berlin on February 17.
Liverpool are in the running after clinching the Champions League crown; the US Women’s Football Team won the Women’s World Cup; Mercedes-AMG Petronas won the Formula One constructors’ title; the Toronto Raptors became the first Canadian team to claim the NBA Championship; and the Spain Men’s team ruled at the Basketball World Cup.
Laureus Academy chairman, former All Blacks captain Sean Fitzpatrick, said about the Boks’ nomination: “One could not have predicted the immense impact that South Africa’s win of the Rugby World Cup had around the world.
“With their victory inspiring the hearts of so many, uniting a multitude of communities, we see once again the exceptionally unique power of sport to unite.”
Another South African, former swimming sensation Natalie du Toit, is in line for the Sporting Moment from the last 20 years, where members of the public can vote at laureus.com/vote.
In the main individual categories, F1 champion Lewis Hamilton will come up against tennis star Rafael Nadal, soccer maestro Lionel Messi, marathon world record-holder Eliud Kipchoge, golf legend Tiger Woods and MotoGP rider Marc Marquez for the World Sportsman of the Year award.
In the Sportswoman section, tennis’ Naomi Osaka has been nominated alongside footballer Megan Rapinoe, gymnast Simone Biles, athletics’ Allyson Felix and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and skiing superstar Mikaela Shiffrin.
* To view all the nominees and categories, visit laureus.com/world-sports-awards@ashfakmohamed