Laureus Awards: Verstappen and Thompson-Herah named Sportsman, Sportswoman of 2021

SEVILLE (AFP, REUTERS) – Formula One world champion Max Verstappen and triple Tokyo Olympic gold medallist Elaine Thompson-Herah received the Laureus World Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year awards on Sunday (April 24) in a digital ceremony from Seville.

Dutchman Verstappen, who received the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix earlier on Sunday, follows Rafael Nadal, who received the boys’s award final yr and his nice rival Lewis Hamilton, who shared the boys’s prize with Lionel Messi in 2020.

“Since I was a little kid, I dreamt of being on the top step and winning the championship,” the 24-year-old Verstappen mentioned. “The response again in Holland was wonderful from all of the newspapers and followers. It’s one thing we’ll always remember.

“It was a lot of hard work and years of preparation. I’m incredibly proud… It means a lot to be recognised for this award, one of the highest ones in the world, so I’m incredibly happy.”

Thompson-Herah, who turned the primary lady to win back-to-back Olympic dash doubles when she retained her 100m and 200m titles in Tokyo final yr, shouldn’t be the primary Jamaican sprinter to win an award.

“I know Usain (Bolt) has won Laureus Awards before, so to bring this trophy back home to the Caribbean, also in Jamaica, is very special,” she mentioned.

“I’ve watched that (100m) race a few thousand occasions now.

I’d say I’m very, very proud, however I can’t dwell on the previous… My motivation is to be even higher. I informed myself that I need to be the best feminine sprinter.”

The awards are organised by the Laureus Sports Foundation and the 2021 winners have been chosen by a 71-member panel led by All Black rugby nice Sean Fitzpatrick.

In an indication of how ephemeral sporting achievements could be, the Italian males’s soccer workforce, who adopted profitable the European Championship final yr with lacking the World Cup this spring, have been voted the Team of the Year, for a second time.

British tennis starlet Emma Raducanu, who has struggled for consistency since profitable the US Open final yr, acquired the Breakthrough of the Year award.

The ceremony mopped up different huge stars with a collection of particular awards.

National Football League nice Tom Brady, who made a U-turn on his retirement plans this yr, was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement award after profitable a report seventh Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Polish striker Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich received the Exceptional Achievement award after scoring a German Bundesliga report of 41 objectives final season to interrupt Gerd Muller’s 49-year-old mark.

Seven-time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi, who known as time on a profession spanning greater than 20 years final yr, received the Sporting Icon award – his third Laureus honour having scooped the Comeback of the Year (2011) and Spirit of Sport (2006) awards.

Skateboarder Sky Brown received the Comeback of the Year award aged 13.

She had fractured her cranium in coaching in June 2020 and was unresponsive when she arrived at a hospital. She recovered and competed in Tokyo, profitable bronze and turning into Britain’s youngest Olympic medallist at 13 years and 28 days.

Briton Bethany Shriever took the Action Sportsperson award after profitable each Olympic and World Championship BMX golds. She had financed her Olympic marketing campaign with crowdfunding after UK Sport minimize help.

Other winners – Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability: Marcel Hug. Sport for Good Award: Lost Boyz Inc. Sport for Good Society Award: Real Madrid Foundation. Athlete Advocate of the Year: Gerald Asamoah and the Black Eagles.

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