17 January 2018

South Africa: Semenya Flies Flag for SA At Laureus World Sports Awards

Photo: Laureus Awards
Olympic and world 800-metre champion Caster Semenya is South Africa's only nominee for the 2018 Laureus World Sports Awards. Semenya is up for honors in the World Sportswoman of the Year category and is up against Wimbledon champion Garbiñe Muguruza and an all-American quartet of Australian Open champion Serena Williams, 16-time world athletics championship medalist Allyson Felix, 19-year-old swimming sensation Katie Ledecky, and overall World Cup champion skier Mikaela Shiffrin.

Olympic and world 800-metre champion Caster Semenya is South Africa's only nominee for the 2018 Laureus World Sports Awards.

Semenya is up for honors in the World Sportswoman of the Year category and is up against Wimbledon champion Garbiñe Muguruza and an all-American quartet of Australian Open champion Serena Williams, 16-time world athletics championship medalist Allyson Felix, 19-year-old swimming sensation Katie Ledecky, and overall World Cup champion skier Mikaela Shiffrin.

An impressive collection of the greatest men, women and teams in sport have been nominated, following a ballot by the world's sports media.

Tennis superstar Roger Federer's impressive return to form after a knee injury, which saw him win his fifth Australian Open and eighth Wimbledon titles, sees him nominated in both the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year and Laureus World Comeback of the Year categories. Federer, who is currently a four-time Award winner could become the most decorated Laureus Award winner at the 2018 ceremony in Monaco on 27 February.

The football world also features heavily, with Cristiano Ronaldo up for Laureus World Sportsman of the Year, Real Madrid nominated for Laureus World Team of the Year, Kylian Mbappé in contention for Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year and FC Barcelona and Chapecoense nominated for the Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award.

Joining Federer and Ronaldo in what is sure to be a hotly contested Laureus World Sportsman of the Year category is athletics world championships 10,000m gold and 5,000m silver medal-winning athlete Mo Farah, four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome, four-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton and French and US Open champion Rafael Nadal.

An array of sports compile the six Nominees in the Laureus World Team of the Year category; tennis' France Davis Cup Team, NBA Champions Golden State Warriors, Formula One World Champions Mercedes-AMG Petronas, Super Bowl champions New England Patriots, sailing's New Zealand America's Cup Team, and Champions League winners Real Madrid.

After a stellar year in the ring in which he unified the WBA, IBO and IBF heavyweight titles, boxer Anthony Joshua is nominated in the Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year category. Nominated alongside Joshua are French football star Kylian Mbappé, French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, Spanish golfer Sergio Garcia, Greek basketball player Giannis Antetokounmpo and American swimming star Caeleb Dressel.

Following their remarkable Champions League 6-1 comeback against Paris St Germain, FC Barcelona are in contention for the Laureus World Comeback of the Year category. After impressive returns to form after their respective injuries, Roger Federer, Italian MotoGP star Valentino Rossi and 100m hurdle world champion Sally Pearson are also in consideration alongside 100m sprint world champion Justin Gatlin and Brazilian football club Chapecoense, who made a remarkable return to competition after being involved in a tragic plane crash.

A group of the greatest para-athletes of 2017 make up the incredible group of nominees for the Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability category. Marcel Hug, who won three world titles and five leading marathons is joined by three-time Grand Slam winning wheelchair tennis player Yui Kamiji, four-time world champion cross-country skier Oksana Masters, cancer-surviving snowboarder Bibian Mentel-Spee, Ironman Para world champion Jetze Plat and T44 Long Jump world champion Markus Rehm.

Surfing world champions Tyler Wright and John John Florence lead the nominations for the Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year. Also shortlisted are champion snowboarders Anna Gasser and Mark McMorris, skateboarder Nyjah Huston and French sailor Armel Le Cléac'h, who set a new record of 74 days for completing the Vendée Globe, the single-handed non-stop race around the world.

In the Laureus Best Sporting Moment of the Year category, five emotional and heartwarming Moments, which look beyond the scoreboard and highlight the true value of sport have been selected from five monthly global online polls.

Sports fans around the world voted for The Iowa Hawkeyes and their fans' heart-warming 'Kinnick Wave', six-year-old football fan Bradley Lowery and the special bond he formed with best friend, England striker Jermain Defoe; Kimi Räikkönen and his six-year-old fan Thomas Danel, Brazilian football team Chapecoense and inspirational 18-year-old motor racing driver Billy Monger.

Votes can be cast at myLaureus.com from 2 January until 26 February, with the winner being announced on stage at the Awards in Monaco.

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