From football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo to sprint king Usain Bolt, an array of the world’s biggest sportspersons will be vying for top honours at the prestigious Laureus World Sports Awards to be held in Monaco on Tuesday.
The awards this year hold more significance as they return to the birthplace of the first ever Laureus Awards, after 17 years.
Also called the ‘Oscars of Sports’, the contest for the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award promises to be one of the most competitive ever with nominees such as Bolt, already a three-time Laureus winner, Olympics 5,000m and 10,000m race champion Mo Farah ,tennis great Andy Murray, basketball duo of Stephen Curry and LeBron James, besides Ronaldo fighting for the prestigious award.
The nominations for the World Sportswoman of the Year award are filled by all six Olympians that include USA gymnast Simone Biles, Katie Ledecky and Allyson Felix, German world tennis number one Angelique Kerber, Jamaican sprint star Elaine Thompson and British cyclist Laura Kenny.
Michael Phelps, the most successful Olympian ever, heads the nominees in the World Comeback of the Year category, having won another five gold medals and a silver at the Rio Games last year.
Giving him competition in this category would be Spain’s high jumper Ruth Beitia, Argentina’s Davis Cup winner Juan Martin del Potro, British show jumper Nick Skelton, Mauritius triathlete Fabienne St Louis and Norwegian skier Aksel Lund Svindal.
Having finished second in 2014 and 2015, Nico Rosberg finally won the Formula One World Championship last year and that has earned him a nomination for the World Breakthrough of the Year Award. He will be facing some challenge from Olympic world-record breaking runners 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 Fij