Djokovic, Bolt, Messi lead Laureus Awards nomination

Beijing, March 3 (IANS) The nominees for the 2015 Laureus Awards were announced with 2014 winner Novak Djokovic, Usain Bolt and Lionel Messi featuring in the category of Best Male Athlete of the Year.

China’s Liu Cuiqing was nominated for the disability category on Wednesday with Boccia player Leung Yuk Wing from Hong Kong also in this category. The 17th edition of the Laureus World Sports Awards will be held on April 18 in Berlin, reports Xinhua.

Djokovic, who won three Grand Slam titles last year, Bolt, who won three gold medals at the World Athletics Championships, and Messi, who won the 2015 Ballon d’Or, are joined by Formula 1’s Lewis Hamilton, American basketballer Stephen Curry and golfer Jordan Spieth.

In the best female athlete category, 2015 winner Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia was again named along with Jamaica’s 100 metres World Champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, American tennis star Serena Williams, who came close to winning all four Grand Slam titles, Alpine skiing World Champion Anna Fenninger of Austria, US swimmer Katie Ledecky and American footballers Carli LLoyd.

New Zealand’s rugby team, the All Blacks, are in the running for the team award having successfully defended their crown at the 2015 World Cup hosted by England.

Liu, a 24-year-old visually impaired athlete, won four women’s T11 titles at her first ever World Championships in Doha. With guide Donglin Xu, she beat favourite Terezinha Guilhermina, the World and Paralympic champion. She comfortably won the 100m, set new Asian records in 200m and 400m and was part of the winning women’s 4x100m T11-T13 relay team.

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