Nominees for the 2019 Laureus World Sports Awards have been announced in seven categories following a vote by the world’s sports media.
FIFA World Cup winners France are in contention for World Team of the Year, while stars of the tournament Kylian Mbappé and Luka Modric, who represent France and finalists Croatia respectively, have received nominations in the World Sportsman of the Year category.
Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games medallists also feature heavily.
Czech Republic’s Ester Ledecká and the United States’ Mikaela Shiffrin are nominated for World Sportswoman of the Year, the Norwegian Winter Olympic team recognised in the World Team of the Year category and Italy’s Sophia Goggia listed among the nominees for World Breakthrough of the Year.
In contention for the World Comeback of the Year are Pyeongchang 2018 medallists Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan, Mark McMorris of Canada, Bibian Mentel-Spee of The Netherlands and Lindsey Vonn of the US.
Paralympic champions Henrieta Farkasova of Slovakia, Brian McKeever of Canada and Oksana Masters of the US are nominated for World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability.
Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain, Kenyan marathon world record-breaker Eliud Kipchoge, tennis world number one Novak Djokovic of Serbia and National Basketball Association (NBA) great LeBron James join FIFA World Cup Golden Ball winner Modric and FIFA Best Young Player awardee Mbappé in the World Sportsman of the Year category.
Ledecká and Shiffrin are joined in the World Sportswoman of the Year category by celebrated American gymnast Simone Biles, the first woman to win four all-around world titles, as well as Grand Slam tennis champions Simona Halep of Romania and Angelique Kerber of Germany, and four-time Ironman world champion Daniela Ryf of Switzerland.
After winning their fifth-straight Formula One World Constructors’ Championship, Mercedes-AMG Petronas have picked up their third nomination in a row for the World Team of the Year.
Joining them and France men’s football team in the category are Real Madrid, the winners of three consecutive UEFA Champions League titles, as well as Winter Olympic medal table-toppers Norway, NBA champions Golden State Warriors and the victorious European Ryder Cup team.
Trailblazing Spaniard Ana Carrasco, the first woman to secure a motor cycling world title, is nominated for World Breakthrough of the Year.
Japan’s first-ever Grand Slam tennis champion Naomi Osaka, Norway’s teenage 1,500 metres and 5,000m European champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen, Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas of Britain, Italian downhill skiing champion Goggia and Jamaican sprint sensation Briana Williams are also nominated.
US Tour Championship winner Tiger Woods, who won his first tournament in five years, is nominated in the World Comeback of the Year category.
Alongside golf’s biggest star is India’s first-ever Laureus nominee, wrestling champion Vinesh Phogat, and four Pyeongchang 2018 athletes - figure skater Hanyu, snowboarder McMorris, ski racing legend Vonn and Paralympic champion Mentel-Spee.
The toughest competition is likely to be for World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability.
Joining the Paralympic gold medallists in a category shortlisted by a select panel from the International Paralympic Committee are Dutch wheelchair tennis star Diede de Groot - the Wimbledon, Australian Open and US Open champion - as well as undefeated boccia star Grigorios Polychronidis of Greece and T64 men’s long jump world record holder Markus Rehm of Germany.
Surfing and snowboarding superstars lead the nominations for Action Sportsperson of the Year.
Australian surfing great Stephanie Gilmore, who won her record-equalling seventh world title in Hawaii, has been nominated alongside two Brazilians; men’s world champion Gabriel Medina and record-breaking big-wave surfer Maya Gabeira.
Also in contention in the category are Winter Olympic snowboard champions Chloe Kim and Shaun White of the US and big air gold medallist Anna Gasser of Austria.
The Laureus World Sports Awards, which recognise sporting achievement during 2018, are the premier honours on the international sporting calendar.
The winners are voted for by the 66 members of the Laureus World Sports Academy.
They will be unveiled at the 2019 Laureus World Sports Awards in Monaco on February 18.