Lewis Hamilton and Lionel Messi beat Eliud Kipchoge to win Laureus World Sportsman of the Year

By Odero Charles: Tuesday, February 18th 2020 at 00:20 GMT +3 | Athletics

Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton and footballer Lionel Messi shared the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year while Gymnast Simone Biles won her third Laureus Sportswoman of the Year award on Monday night at a gala that took place in Berlin.

The pair, who had the same number of votes, won the award ahead of the likes of Rafael Nadal, Marc Márquez, marathoner Eliud Kipchoge and golfer Tiger Woods. 

This is the first time in the 20-year history of the award that votes have been tied for an honour.

Messi, the 2019 Ballon D'Or winner, who could not make it to the awards thanked his voters via a video link.

 'I apologise I was not able to come to the event tonight. I really wanted to be there for every but unfortunately I could not make it,” he said.

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'I would like to thank the Academy for giving me this recognition.

Lewis Hamilton (right) received his award from former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

On his part, Hamilton, who received his award from former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, used the opportunity to highlight issues of gender equality in F1.

"I grew up in a sport that has given my life meaning," said Hamilton.

"But I've grown up in a sport which has little to no diversity. It's an issue we are continually facing. It's all of our responsibilities to use our platform to push for gender equality and inclusivity. We have to make sure we are engaging and representing what the world is today."

New developments in Eliud Kipchoge’s Nike running shoes are reportedly to have added a twist to his chances of being named Laureus Sportsman of the Year award.

Athletics authorities are contemplating a meeting over the controversial trainers with Nike's opponents saying they should be banned.

The shoes have an added spring provided by the sole. They have carbon-fibre plates and a thicker midsole that the manufacturer claims improve running economy by between 4 per cent and 5 per cent.

Eliud Kipchoge made history by running the marathon under two hours late last year.

Kipchoge's compatriot Brigid Kosgei also wore the Vaporfly trainers as she smashed Paula Radcliffe's women's London Marathon record in October 2019.

The full list of winners is:

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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