British stars Sir Mo Farah, Chris Froome and Lewis Hamilton have been shortlisted for sportsman of the year at next month’s Laureus World Sports Awards, it has been announced.
Known as sport’s version of the Oscars, no British athlete has won the sportsman of the year award before, although Dames Jessica Ennis-Hill and Kelly Holmes have been named the world’s top sportswoman in the past.
The British trio are up against tennis greats Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal and Real Madrid and Portugal superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
There is also recognition for heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in the breakthrough of the year category and two British entries for the best sporting moment: Jermain Defoe’s friendship with cancer sufferer Bradley Lowery, who died in July aged just six, and teenage racer Billy Monger’s return to Formula 4 despite losing his lower legs in a crash.
Brazilian football team Chapecoense are shortlisted for comeback of the year and best sporting moment after their return to competition following a plane crash that 19 players, but there will be eyebrows raised at American sprinter Justin Gatlin’s presence on the comeback list after his two bans for doping.
In a statement, 2017 world 10,000 metres champion Farah, the surprise winner of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year last month, said: “I’ve been nominated a few times for a Laureus award but haven’t quite managed to get this one over the line yet!
The shortlists were decided by votes from international journalists and the Laureus academy of famous sportsmen and sportswomen will pick the winners for most of the awards, which include team of the year, action sportsperson of the year and disabled sportsperson of the year.
The sporting moment prize, however, will be decided by an online vote and all the winners will be revealed at a ceremony in Monaco on February 27.