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News24 Feb 2021

Cheptegei, Duplantis and Kosgei nominated for Laureus World Sports Awards


Mondo Duplantis, Joshua Cheptegei and Brigid Kosgei

World record-holders Joshua Cheptegei, Mondo Duplantis and Brigid Kosgei are among the nominees for the Laureus World Sports Awards.

Due to the continuing global pandemic, this year the Laureus Awards will not be presented at an open ceremony. Instead, the winners will be announced in May as part of a virtual awards event.

The awards will reflect a unique year of sport when athletes used their platforms to instil hope, influence change in society and prove that sport can change the world for the better. While celebrating the highest sporting achievements, this year’s Laureus Awards will also honour those whose actions in 2020 transcended the track, court or field of play.

Cheptegei set three world records in 2020. The Ugandan distance runner clocked 12:51 for 5km on the roads in February last year, then went on to break the world 5000m record on the track with 12:35.36 in Monaco before running a world record of 26:11.00 for 10,000m in Valencia two months later.

“I am very honoured to be nominated for the Laureus World Sports Awards,” said Cheptegei. “It fills me with pride that my performances are being appreciated, not just within athletics but within the wider sports world. It is a great privilege to be nominated among sports personalities whom I respect, both for their performances and how they inspire people around the world.”

Duplantis was undefeated for the whole of 2020. The Swedish pole vaulter set a world record of 6.17m in Torun in February, then added another centimetre to the mark one week later in Glasgow. Later in the year, he cleared 6.15m in Rome – the highest outdoor vault in history.

“Mondo has a great pedigree, and we’ve been hearing about him since he was 16 or 17,” said multiple Olympic champion Michael Johnson, a Laureus Academy Member. “He’s just an amazing athlete, world record-holder already and he’s so young. He reminds me a lot of my fellow Academy Member Sergey Bubka who was so dominant during his entire career. I feel Duplantis has the same potential to dominate.”

Other nominees for the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award include Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton, Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal, NBA super star LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and football player Robert Lewandowski.

Kosgei raced just three times in 2020, but the Kenyan distance runner won the highest-quality marathon of the year. The 27-year-old successfully defended her London Marathon title in 2:18:58, winning by more than three minutes.

“Brigid is very consistent,” Johnson said of Kosgei. “Everyone knows her accomplishments. It was very challenging to go out last year and produce big performances.”

The other nominees for the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award are tennis player Naomi Osaka, Dutch road cyclist Anna van der Breggen, Italian skier Federica Brignone, French footballer Wendie Renard and basketball player Breanna Stewart.

Nominees for the other awards can be found on the Laureus website.

As well as recognising the most memorable sporting performances to have taken place in 2020, despite the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, this year there will be additional special Laureus Awards acknowledging the wider impact on society made by athletes.

The awards will tell the inspirational stories of people who have worked tirelessly to combat the pandemic, and will highlight the advocacy of sportsmen and sportswomen who have used their positions of influence to make a powerful impact on issues and conflicts which transcend sport.

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