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Laureus World Sports Awards Nominees Announced.

The Laureus statuette, the likes of which will be presented to the winners of the awards on February 6 A glittering collection of the world's greatest sports stars have been nominated for the 2012 Laureus World Sports Awards, following a ballot by the world's media, that included The Tripoli Post newspaper and tripolipost.com as the only media representatives from Libya The names of the Nominees were announced by Laureus World Sports Academy Members Lord Sebastian Coe, Sean Fitzpatrick, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and Daley Thompson at Central Hall, Westminster, where the Awards Ceremony will be held on Monday, February 6.

Argentina's charismatic football star Lionel Messi has been nominated for the third straight time for the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award.

Messi's team, FC Barcelona are also nominated as Laureus World Team of the Year for the fourth time. Surfing legend and three-time winner Kelly Slater is nominated once more for the Laureus Action Sports Award.

Czech tennis star Petra Kvitova and AaeBlade Runner' Oscar Pistorius are both nominated in two categories - Kvitova for Sportswoman and Breakthrough, while athlete Pistorius qualifies for the Breakthrough and Disability Awards. Dutch wheelchair tennis legend Esther Vergeer, a winner of the Laureus Disability Award in 2002 and 2008, is nominated again.

The Laureus World Sports Awards, which recognise sporting achievement during the calendar year 2011, are the premier honours on the international sporting calendar.

The winners, as voted by the Laureus World Sports Academy, the ultimate sports jury, made up of 47 of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of all time, will be unveiled at a televised Awards Ceremony staged in London on Monday, February 6.

Proceeds from the Laureus World Sports Awards directly benefit and underpin the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which supports 89 community sports projects around the world.

Since its inception, Laureus has raised AC40 million for projects which have improved the lives of more than one-and-a-half million young people.

When the winners of the 2012 Laureus Awards are revealed, Lionel Messi will be hoping to become the first team player in history to be named winner of the individual Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award.

Also in that category are Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, who won two gold medals in the World Athletics Championships, tennis No 1 Novak Djokovic, who won the Australian, Wimbledon and US Open Grand Slams, Australian cyclist Cadel Evans, winner of the Tour de France, and Germans Dirk Nowitzki, voted Most Valuable Player in the NBA Finals, and Sebastian Vettel, who won his second straight Formula One World Championship.

Taiwan golfer Yani Tseng is nominated for the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award after her phenomenal 2011, winning two Major Championships and heading the LPGA money list by more than US$1 million.

Athletes Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya and American Carmelita Jeter are shortlisted after gold medal performances in the World Championships in Daegu, as are German skier Maria HE[micro]fl-Riesch, the Czech Republic's Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and Japan's Homare Sawa, who won the Golden Ball and Golden Boot in the FIFA Women's World Cup which was won by Japan.

The Laureus World Team of the Year category looks one of the most competitive ever. The All Blacks' Rugby World Cup win and the stylish European Champions League victory by Barcelona will make them both strong contenders.

Also nominated are NBA winners Dallas Mavericks, world No 1 cricket team England, the Japan Women's Football Team and the Red Bull Formula One Team, winners of the World Constructors Championship for the second straight year.

South Africa's Oscar Pistorius is nominated for the Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award after becoming the first amputee to win a track medal in the non-disabled World Athletics Championships.

Also on the shortlist are Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake, British athlete Mo Farah, Northern Ireland golfer Rory McIlroy, who won the US Open at 22, Petra Kvitova, who won her first Grand Slam at Wimbledon at just 21 and French Open champion Li Na, China's first ever tennis Grand Slam winner.

Breakthrough Nominee Pistorius is also on the shortlist for the Laureus Disability Award, along with Dutch wheelchair tennis star Esther Vergeer, who has already won two Laureus Awards and is unbeaten in singles in more than eight years, British wheelchair racer David Weir and Russian cross-country skier Irek Zaripov. Brazil has two nominations - swimmer Daniel Dias, who won the Disability Award in 2009, and visually impaired runner Terezinha Guilhermina.

France's Eric Abidal, who beat cancer to play in the winning 2011 Barcelona Champions League team, is nominated for the Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award, along with two golfers - Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke, who recovered from a slump in form after the death of his wife to win the Open Championship, and Spain's Sergio Garcia, who won two European Tour events after three years without a victory.

Also shortlisted are Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang, who won silver in the World Athletics Championships, and rugby teams Crusaders and Reds, who reached the Super 15 final despite having to cope with the Christchurch Earthquake and the Queensland floods.

The world's two top surfers, Americans Carissa Moore and Kelly Slater, are both nominated for the Laureus World Action Sports Award. Slater, who won his 11th world title this year at the age of 39, has already won three Laureus Awards.

Also nominated are Britain's BMX star Jamie Bestwick, American skateboard/snowboard legend Shaun White, mountain snowboarder Travis Rice and German windsurfer Philip KE[micro]ster, 17, who won the PWA Wave World Championship.

Laureus World Sports Academy Chairman Edwin Moses said: "This has been a great year for sport and the Academy are going to find it extremely difficult to decide who to vote for as winners.

"We have had several massive performances in 2011 both by individuals and teams and that has been reflected in the Nominations. I congratulate all the Nominees and now we look forward to what should be a great Awards Ceremony in February in London." Each winner receives a Laureus statuette exclusively produced by Cartier. The universal nature of sport is celebrated by the representation of the five continents, which are engraved on the base. The statuettes are 30cms high and weigh 2.5kgs. Each figure contains 670g of solid silver with a 650g gold base

2011 - The Tripoli Post

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Publication:The Tripoli Post (Tripoli, Libya)
Article Type:Awards list
Date:Dec 21, 2011
Words:1070
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