Eliud Kipchoge vs Messi: The Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award explained

By Robert Abong'o: Friday, January 24th 2020 at 08:29 GMT +3 | Sports
Deputy President William Ruto celebrates with Eliud Kipchoge in Vienna after Kipchoge set a new record of 1:59:40,Rachel Ruto (right) Stephen Sang Governor Nandi County [COURTESY]

Kenyan world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge has been nominated for the Sportsman of the Year category in the Laureus World Sports Awards.

Kipchoge has been nominated alongside Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton, Lionel Messi, Tiger Woods and Rafael Nadal and Marc Marquez.

The 34-year-old became the first athlete to run a marathon in under two hours by clocking 1hr 59mins 40secs at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge staged in Vienna, Austria in October last year.

Kipchoge’s nomination to the Laureus World Sports Awards comes weeks after he won the World Athletics Athlete of 2019.

Other categories in the awards include the Sportswoman of the year, team of the year, breakthrough of the year, comeback of the year, sportsperson of the year with a disability and action sportsperson of the year.

Lionel Messi is also a strong contender for the award [COURTESY]

The Laureus is a global organisation that celebrates sporting excellence and uses the power of sport to transform the lives of children and young people.

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This year’s award marks the 20th Anniversary Laureus World Sports Awards Ceremony to be held in Berlin, Germany in February 17.

What is the Laureus Sports Award?

Since its inception, this award has only been won by seven individuals.

The Laureus World Sports Award for Sportsman of the Year is an award given annually to individuals who have made outstanding achievements in the world of sport.

Presented by the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, it was first given out in the year 2000 as one of the seven awards at the Laureus World Sports Awards.

Nominees are chosen by a panel of the world’s leading sports broadcasters and editors and the winner presented a Laureus statuette.

The first winner of this award was Tiger Woods, who was in blistering form after 1999 – eight wins. No one had ever achieved this in golf since 1974.

Woods went on to claim the second award in 2001 for his outstanding performances, most notably the PGA Championship.

2002 saw German Formula One star Michael Schumacher claim the award with American Cyclist Lance Armstrong winning it the following year. Armstrong, however, had his award rescinded following his doping admission.

Schumacher claimed it again in 2004 before Swiss tennis superstar Roger Federer won it four consecutive times.

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt was given the award in 2009 and 2010 for the records he broke before another tennis star, Spaniard Rafael Nadal won it in 2011.

Novak Djokovic, the Serbian tennis master won his first one in 2012 before he claimed another two in 2015 and 2016. In between these years, Usain Bolt and German Formula One man Sebastian Vettel took the award.

The Jamaican sprint king was handed the award again in 2017 before Federer and Djokovic claimed it in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

Who will win it this year?

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