Sachin Tendulkar became the first Indian sportsperson to win a Laureus World Sports Award, in the 20th anniversary edition of the event also known as the ‘Oscars of Sport’, on Monday, 17 February.
Tendulkar accepted the award for Laureus best sporting moment, which was given for India’s World Cup winning moment in 2011 – when his teammates carried him on their shoulders for a lap of honour.
At a glittering ceremony in Berlin, Sachin was handed the award by Australian former skipper Steve Waugh even as Boris Becker announced the nominations for the special category that was introduced for the 20th edition of the Laureus Awards this year.
Sachin Tendulkar and the Indian Cricket Team win the Laureus Sporting Moment (2000-2020) Award for the 2011 World Cup victory. @sachin_rt makes a moving speech while accepting the trophy. #Laureus20 pic.twitter.com/84jI3Lte4x— Mendra Dorjey Sahni (@MendraDorjey) February 17, 2020
The category was voted on by fans from across the globe and the Award celebrated moments from the past two decades where sport unified people in the most extraordinary way. On his sixth attempt, Tendulkar had helped India win the 2011 ICC World Cup which was their first title on home ground.
Other Laureus Awards
British F1 ace Lewis Hamilton and Lionel Messi, arguably the world's greatest footballer, were declared the joint winners of the prestigious Laureus World Sportsman of the year award. They received the same number of votes, a first in the 20-year history of the awards with the jury unable to split Hamilton and Messi.
Messi, the six-time FIFA World Player of the year, is the first team-player to bag the award. He though was not present to receive the award and sent a video message.
They pipped golfing great Tiger Woods, Kenyan marathoner Eliud Kipchoge, tennis legend Rafael Nadal and MotoGP champion Marc Marquez.
American gymnast Simone Biles who won five gold medals at the 2019 World Championships, grabbed the World Sportswoman of the year award, her third in four years after winning it in 2017 and in 2019.
She beat a strong challenge from Jamaican sprinting great Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who missed out on the honour for the fifth time. She was nominated 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2016 also but did not win it.
The most decorated gymnast also beat competition from American footballer Megan Rapinoe, Japanese tennis sensation Naomi Osaka, American track and field athlete Allyson Felix and skier Mikaela Shiffrin.
In the Sportsperson of the year with a disability category, Oksana Masters, born with limb impairments caused by radiation from Chernobyl and adopted by an American single parent, was recognised for an outstanding year in 2019.
She won five gold medals and a silver at the World Para Nordic Skiing Championships.
The 2019 Rugby World Cup winners South Africa won their second Laureus World Team of the Year Award, beating Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool and the US Women's Football Team, among others.
For the 2020 Laureus World Comeback of the Year, Germany's gritty F3 driver Sophia Florsch was the winner. Travelling at 276km per hour, she had lost control of her car at the Macau circuit, crashing through safety barriers and leaving her with a spinal fracture which required an 11-hour surgery and months of rehabilitation. In November 2019, a year on from her accident, the 18-year-old Sophia was back in the cockpit, racing once again in the Macau Grand Prix.
Egan Bernal, who became the youngest rider to win the Tour de France at 22, grabbed the World Breakthrough of the Year award.
German basketball great Dirk Nowitzki was recognised at the Ceremony with the Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the sport of basketball.
Full List of Laureus Sports Awards 2020 Winners
- Laureus World Sportsman of the Year: Lewis Hamilton and Lionel Messi
- Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year: Simone Biles
- Laureus World Team of the Year: South Africa Men’s Rugby Team
- Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year: Egan Bernal
- Laureus World Comeback of the Year: Sophia Flörsch
- Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability: Oksana Masters
- Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year: Chloe Kim
- Laureus Best Sporting Moment: ‘Carried on the shoulders of a nation’ – Sachin Tendulkar
- Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award: Dirk Nowitzki
- Laureus Academy Exceptional Achievement Award: Spanish Basketball Federation
- Laureus Sport for Good Award: South Bronx United
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