NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 18 – Marathon world record holder and Kenyan Sports Personality of the year Eliud Kipchoge will battle a stellar cast that includes French wonderkid and World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe, LA Lakers basketball giant LeBron James as well as FIFA World Player of the year and Balon d’Or winner Luka Modric for this year’s Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award.
Kipchoge has been named in a final shortlist of six that also includes tennis icon Novak Djokovic and five-time World Formula one champion Lewis Hamilton.
The 34-year old enjoyed a brilliant 2018 season that saw him smash the Marathon World Record in Berlin, clocking 2:01:39, reducing the mark by the highest margin in close to five decades.
Kipchoge who also won his third London Marathon crown earlier in April was also named the IAAF Athlete of the Year, just a few days after being named the United Nations (Kenya) person of the year.
Mbappe on his end shone at the World Cup as the French won the world crown, and 19 became the first teenager to score in the final since Pele in 1958. He finished with four goals and was named Best Young Player.
LeBron meanwhile surpassed Michael Jordan’s NBA record of at least 10 points in consecutive games in his 867th match. His streak started in January 2007.
In his last season for the Cavaliers before moving to LA Lakers, he averaged 27.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 9.1 assists per game.
Back in action after elbow surgery, Djokovic won his fourth Wimbledon in 2018 – his first Grand Slam victory since the French Open in 2016.
He followed it with the US Open two months later. His success in Cincinnati made him the first winner of all nine Masters 1,000 events.
The Laureus World Sports Awards returns to Monaco on February 18, where the cream of global sport – past, present and future – will gather to honour the greatest sporting achievements of 2018 and celebrate the power of sport to change the world.
The nominees for the Laureus World Sports Awards are chosen by a panel of the world’s leading sports media and influencers, producing a shortlist of six contenders in the following categories: World Sportsman of the Year, World Sportswoman of the Year, World Team of the Year, World Breakthrough of the Year and World Comeback of the Year.
With all of the nominees in place, members of the Laureus World Sports Academy – all giants of global sport – then vote to select the final award winners.