Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt (© Getty Images)
World champions Usain Bolt, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Genzebe Dibaba are among the nominations for the 2016 Laureus world sportsman and sportswoman of the year awards.
Bolt, a three-time winner of the Laureus sportsman of the year award, successfully defended his world titles in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015.
Fraser-Pryce did likewise in the 100m and 4x100m, while Dibaba – the 2015 Laureus world sportswoman of the year and IAAF world female athlete of the year – won the world 1500m title in Beijing, having broken the world record for the distance earlier in the year.
Outside of athletics, the other male nominees are (in alphabetical order): US basketball player Stephen Curry, Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic, British racing driver Lewis Hamilton, Argentinian footballer Lionel Messi and US golfer Jordan Spieth.
Dibaba and Fraser-Pryce are joined on the list of female nominees by Austrian skier Anna Fenninger, US swimmer Katie Ledecky, US soccer player Carli Lloyd and US tennis player Serena Williams.
World champions Jessica Ennis-Hill and David Rudisha have been nominated in the ‘comeback of the year’ category.
Ennis-Hill won the world heptathlon title in Beijing, one year after giving birth to her first child and having battled an achilles injury. Rudisha bounced back from two years of injury problems to win the world 800m title in Beijing.
Cuba’s visually impaired sprinter Omara Durand has been nominated in the disability category. At last year’s IPC World Championships in Doha, Durand won the 100m, 200m and 400m, setting world records of 11.48, 23.03 and 53.05 respectively.
The winners will be announced at the Laureus World Sports Awards ceremony in Berlin on 18 April.