World record-holders Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda, Mondo Duplantis American-born Swedish and Kenyan Brigid Kosgei are among the nominees for the 2020 Laureus World Sports Awards.
Cheptegei and Duplantis will be up against Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton, Spanish Tennis player Rafael Nadal, NBA superstar LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and football player Robert Lewandowski.
Cheptegei set three world records in 2020. The Ugandan distance runner clocked 12:51 for 5km on the roads in February last year, then went on to break the world 5000m record on the track with 12:35.36 in Monaco before running a world record of 26:11.00 for 10,000m in Valencia two months later.
Duplantis was undefeated for the whole of 2020. The American-born Swedish pole-vaulter set a world record of 6.17m in Torun in February, then added another centimetre to the mark one week later in Glasgow. Later in the year, he cleared 6.15m in Rome – the highest outdoor vault in history.
Kosgei raced just three times in 2020, but the Kenyan distance runner won the highest-quality marathon of the year. The 27-year-old successfully defended her London Marathon title in 2:18:58, winning by more than three minutes.
The other nominees for the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award are tennis player Naomi Osaka, Dutch road cyclist Anna van der Breggen, Italian skier Federica Brignone, French footballer Wendie Renard and basketball player Breanna Stewart.
Due to the continuing global pandemic, this year the Laureus Awards will not be presented at an open ceremony. Instead, the winners will be announced in May 2021 as part of a virtual awards event.
The awards will reflect a unique year of the sport when athletes used their platforms to instill hope, influence change in society, and prove that sport can change the world for the better. While celebrating the highest sporting achievements, this year’s Laureus Awards will also honour those whose actions in 2020 transcended the track, court, or field of play.
Nominees for the other awards can be found on the Laureus website.