5,000m and 10,000m world record holder Joshua Cheptegei and women’s world marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei were nominated for the 2021 Laureus Awards in the World Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year categories, respectively.
Cheptegei had a stellar 2020 in which he became the tenth man in history to hold the 5,000 and 10,000 metres world records concurrently. He also broke the world records set by legendary Ethiopian runner Kenenisa Bekele in the 5km and 10km.
He set a time of 12 minutes 35.36 seconds in the 5km in Monaco in August and 26 minutes 11.00 seconds in the 10km in Valencia in October.
Kosgei retained her London Marathon title in the women’s event winning in a time of two hours 18 minutes and 58 seconds. That meant she has won one of the classic Marathons in each of the last three years: 2018 Chicago, 2019 London and Chicago and 2020 London.
Other nominees in the men’s category are: Lewis Hamilton (Formula One), Rafael Nadal (tennis), Armand Duplantis (pole vault), LeBron James (basketball) and Robert Lewandowski (football).
In the women’s category, the other nominees are: Naomi Osaka (tennis) Wendie Renard (football), Anna van der Breggen (cycling), Federica Brignone (skiing) and Breanna Stewart (basketball).
Meanwhile, Boxgirls Kenya, a programme in the Kenyan capital Nairobi which engages with girls and young women who are subject to extreme inequality and disempowerment, was nominated in the Sport for Good category.
The programme reaches out to schools to engage with the girls, providing them with boxing training, peer coaching and related discussions about life experiences and life skills, helping them to build skills and confidence in themselves and encouraging change.
Boxgirls Kenya will battle it out against Fundación Colombianitos (Colombia) and KICKFORMORE (Germany) in their category.
A panel of more than 1,000 sports journalists selected the nominees with the winners set to be chosen by members of the Laureus World Sports Academy.
The 2021 Laureus World Sports Awards will be held in May as a virtual event, instead of the annual gala ceremony, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.