SA Paralympic star Pieter du Preez nominated for Laureus award
He’s joined by first time nominees Stephen Curry, of the Golden State Warriors, and golf’s Jordan Spieth.
BERLIN - South Africa's remarkable and versatile Paralympic athlete Pieter du Preez has been nominated for the Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability Award, following his outstanding performances in 2015.
Du Preez won double gold medals in the time trial and road race In the H1 class at the Para-Cycling World Championships and finished the season No.1 in the world rankings.
In wheelchair competition, the 35-year-old broke the 10,000 metres T51 world record and set new African records in the 200, 1,500 and 10,000 metres. He is the 2015 world No.1 at 800, 1,500, 5,000 and 10,000 metres.
Back in 2013, he famously became the first quadriplegic to complete an ironman triathlon.
He said, "It is one of the biggest honours in my life and I am extremely humbled to be nominated for a Laureus World Sports Award. I am very proud to represent not only my country, South Africa, but also quadriplegics and tetraplegics all over the world."
A glittering collection of the world's greatest sports stars have also been nominated for the 2016 Laureus Awards, following a ballot by the world's media.
The contest for the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award promises to be the hottest ever.
They are joined by first time Nominees Stephen Curry, star of NBA's Golden State Warriors, and golf's world No.1 Jordan Spieth.
After a sparkling 2015 in which she won three Grand Slams, US tennis legend Serena Williams is again nominated for the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award - her record tenth Laureus Nomination.
In another strong category, the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team is nominated for the second straight year for the Laureus World Team of the Year Award, along with Rugby World Cup winners the All Blacks, Champions League winners FC Barcelona, NBA champions Golden State Warriors, the Great Britain Davis Cup Team and the US Women's Football Team, who won their third World Cup.
Two sportsmen are nominated in two categories: surfer Mick Fanning (Action and Comeback) and golfer Jordan Spieth (Sportsman and Breakthrough).
In addition to Fanning, the Laureus World Comeback of the Year category features some of the biggest names in sport - Rugby Player of the Year Dan Carter, world heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill, the most decorated Olympian Michael Phelps, Kenya's 800 metres world champion David Rudisha and US ski legend Lindsey Vonn.
Nominations for the Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability include two former winners: Brazilian swimmer Daniel Dias, who won in 2009 and 2013, and France's Marie Bochet, winner in 2014, who had her second clean sweep of all five events at the Paralympic World Skiing Championships.
The names of the Nominees, six in each of seven categories, were announced today.
The eventual winners will be revealed at the Laureus Awards Ceremony in Berlin on 18 April.
The list of Nominees in some categories include:
Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award
Usain Bolt (Jamaica) Athletics - Won three sprint gold medals in World Championships in Beijing
Stephen Curry (US) Basketball - Led Golden State Warriors to NBA championship, named NBA MVP
Novak Djokovic (Serbia) Tennis - World No.1, won three Grand Slams and was finalist in French Open
Lewis Hamilton (UK) Motor Racing - Won third career and second straight Formula One world title
Lionel Messi (Argentina) Football - Star of the FC Barcelona team, won record fifth Ballon d'Or
Jordan Spieth (US) Golf - At 21, won The Masters and the US Open and became world No.1
Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award
Genzebe Dibaba (Ethiopia) Athletics - IAAF Athlete of Year, won 1,500m world title in Beijing
Anna Fenninger (Austria) Skiing - Won two World Championship gold medals and second World Cup
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Jamaica) Athletics - Won second straight and third career 100m world title
Katie Ledecky (US) Swimming - Won five gold medals at World Championships in Kazan
Carli Lloyd (US) Football - Scored three goals to win Women's World Cup final, also won Golden Ball
Serena Williams (US) Tennis - World No.1, won Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon
For the full list of nominees and their detailed biographies click here.