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Olympic, Paralympic champions on list of Laureus nominees

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This year’s nominees for the Laureus World Sports Awards include a handful of Olympic gold medalists, including Simone BilesMikaela ShiffrinShaun White and Lindsey Vonn. Paralympic champions Oksana Masters and Bibian Mentel-Spee are also up for awards. The nominees were announced Thursday morning.

The awards recognize sports achievements during 2018 and are voted on by the Laureus World Sports Academy. Winners will be announced in Monaco on February 18.

Among the nominees for world sportsman of the year is LeBron James, 2018 Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modric, and Eliud Kipchoge, who won both the London and Berlin Marathons in 2018, breaking the world record by 78 seconds in Berlin.

Biles and Shiffrin are both nominated for world sportswoman of the year, as is double Olympic champion Ester Ledecka, who won gold medals in both snowboarding and alpine skiing in PyeongChang.

The World Comeback of the Year category includes Tiger Woods, Lindsey Vonn, two-time Olympic figure skating champion Yuzuru Hanyu as well as Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris, who overcame a life-threatening injury to win a second straight Olympic bronze medal in PyeongChang. Paralympic snowboarder Bibian Mentel-Spee, who won two gold medals in PyeongChang shortly after finishing cancer treatment, is also nominated in that category.

Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas and US Open champion Naomi Osaka are nominated for breakthrough athletes of the year. Chloe Kim, Shaun White, and Austria’s Anna Gasser, the inaugural Olympic gold medalist in big air, are up for awards in the action sports category.

Four-time Paralympian Oksana Masters, who won two gold medals in PyeongChang, is nominated in the category of athletes with disabilities. 

A full list of nominees is below:

World Sportsman of the Year

Novak Djokovic (Serbia) Tennis

Lewis Hamilton (UK) Motor Racing

LeBron James (USA) Basketball

Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya) Athletics

Kylian Mbappé (France) Football

Luka Modric (Croatia) Football

 

World Sportswoman of the Year

Simone Biles (USA) Gymnastics

Simona Halep (Romania) Tennis

Angelique Kerber (Germany) Tennis

Ester Ledecka (Czech Republic) Skiing / Snowboarding

Daniela Ryf (Switzerland) Ironman Triathlon

Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) Skiing

 

World Team of the Year

European Ryder Cup Team – Golf

France Men’s Football Team

Golden State Warriors (USA) Basketball

Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team (Germany)

Norway Winter Olympics Team

Real Madrid (Spain) Football

 

World Breakthrough of the Year

Ana Carrasco (Spain) Motor Cycling

Sofia Goggia (Italy) Skiing

Jakob Ingebrigtsen (Norway) Athletics

Naomi Osaka (Japan) Tennis

Geraint Thomas (UK) Cycling

Briana Williams (Jamaica) Athletics

 

World Comeback of the Year

Yuzuru Hanyu (Japan) Skating

Mark McMorris (Canada) Snowboarding

Bibian Mentel-Spee (Netherlands) Snowboarding

Vinesh Phogat (India) Wrestling 

Lindsey Vonn (USA) Skiing

Tiger Woods (USA) Golf

 

World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability

Henrieta Farkasova (Slovakia) Skiing

Diede de Groot (Netherlands) Wheelchair Tennis

Brian McKeever (Canada) Cross-country Skiing

Oksana Masters (USA) Cross-country Skiing

Grigorios Polychronidis (Greece) Boccia

Markus Rehm (Germany) Athletics

 

Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year

Maya Gabeira (Brazil) Surfing

Anna Gasser (Austria) Snowboarding

Stephanie Gilmore (Australia) Surfing

Chloe Kim (USA) Snowboarding

Gabriel Medina (Brazil) Surfing

Shaun White (USA) Snowboarding

Brooke Raboutou is first U.S. Olympic sport climbing qualifier

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Brooke Raboutou, 18, became the first American to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in sport climbing by reaching Tuesday’s combined final at the world championships in Hachioji, Japan, USA Climbing confirmed.

She qualified ninth into that final.

Raboutou, the daughter of two world-class climbers who has competed since age 7, became the seventh American across all sports to qualify for the 2020 Olympics after three open-water swimmers, two modern pentathletes and a triathlete.

Olympic sport climbing will feature one set of medals per gender, the event combining three disciplines: lead, speed and bouldering.

From Tokyo 2020: Speed climbing pits two climbers against each other, both climbing a fixed route on a 15-meter wall at a 95-degree angle. Winning times are generally between five and eight seconds. In bouldering, climbers scale a number of fixed routes on a four-meter wall in a specified time without safety ropes. In lead climbing, athletes attempt to climb as high as possible on a wall measuring over 15 meters in height within a fixed time with safety ropes.

A nation can qualify up to two athletes per gender into Olympic sport climbing.

The sport debuted at the Youth Olympics in 2018 in Buenos Aires, but no Americans were entered.

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Danielle Williams cemented as world No. 1 hurdler in Birmingham

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The 100m hurdles has been one of the U.S.’ deepest events the last several years, but Jamaican Danielle Williams looks like the favorite at the world championships in early October.

Williams, who owns the world’s fastest time this year, easily beat world-record holder Kendra Harrison and Olympic champion Brianna McNeal at a Diamond League meet in Birmingham, Great Britain, on Sunday.

Williams crossed in 12.46 seconds despite hitting her knee on one hurdle, but still two tenths clear of Harrison, whose world record is 12.20. It marked Harrison’s first loss in nine meets this year and the first time a non-American has ever beaten her at a Diamond League stop.

It looked like Williams wouldn’t make it to worlds in Doha when she false started out of the Jamaican Championships. But the final was soon after strangely canceled, and Jamaican media reported last week that Williams, the 2015 World champion who failed to make the Rio Olympics, is eligible to be chosen next month by the federation.

The U.S. had at least the two fastest women in the world each of the previous six years. Then Williams re-emerged with a Jamaican record 12.32 on July 20.

The meet airs Monday on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA at 4 p.m. ET and NBCSN at 7 p.m. ET. The Diamond League moves to Paris on Saturday.

In other events Sunday, Olympic 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo overtook Brit Dina Asher-Smith and Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in the 200m in 22.24. Miller-Uibo extended her unbeaten streak to two years across all distances.

It appears Miller-Uibo will not be racing the 200m at worlds, given it overlaps with the 400m. She ranks third in the world this year at the shorter distance, trailing Jamaican Olympic champion Elaine Thompson, who clocked 22.00 on June 23 but was not in Sunday’s field. Miller-Uibo has ranked No. 1 at 400m four straight years.

Yohan Blake won the 100m in 10.07 seconds, holding off Brit Adam Gemili, who had the same time with a 2 meter/second tailwind. Blake, the second-fastest man in history with a personal best of 9.69, hasn’t been the same since suffering a series of leg injuries starting in 2013.

Sunday’s field lacked the world championships favorites — Americans Christian Coleman and Justin Gatlin, who clocked 9.81 and 9.87 on June 30.

Surprise U.S. champion Teahna Daniels placed third in her Diamond League 100m debut, clocking 11.24 seconds. The field lacked world championships favorites Thompson and Fraser-Pryce, who each ran 10.73 at the Jamaican Championships on June 21.

American record holder Ajeé Wilson won an 800m that lacked all three Rio Olympic medalists, who are barred from racing the event due to the IAAF’s new testosterone cap in middle distances. Wilson’s time, 2:00.76, was far off her 2019 world-leading time of 1:57.72 among eligible women.

Olympic and world heptathlon champion Nafi Thiam broke the Belgian long jump record twice, winning with a 6.86-meter leap. That ranks ninth in the world this year. The field lacked the last two Olympic champions, Americans Tianna Bartoletta and Brittney Reese.

A meeting of the last two Olympic pole vault champs went to Rio gold medalist Katerina Stefanidi of Greece, who cleared 4.75 meters in swirling wind. London 2012 champ Jenn Suhr was third but remains No. 1 in the world this year with a 4.91-meter clearance from March 30.

Croatian Sandra Perkovic, the 2012 and 2016 Olympic discus champion, lost her third straight Diamond League meet to start the season as she returns from injury. Perkovic, who placed third behind winner Cuban Yaimé Pérez, had not lost in back-to-back meets since returning from a six-month doping ban in 2011, according to Tilastopaja.org.

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