Player: Els can win more majors
Rio de Janeiro - South African golfing great Ernie Els
has just days to wait to discover if he has won the Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award, following his dramatic victory in Britain’s Open Championship last July.
The Laureus World Sports Awards are the premier honours on the international sporting calendar. The winners, as voted by the Laureus World Sports Academy, the ultimate sports jury, made up of 46 of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of all time, will be unveiled at a globally televised Awards Ceremony staged in Rio de Janeiro on March 11.
Having failed to qualify for the US Masters for the first time since 1993, Els, at 42, bounced back in the most dramatic way with his fourth major championship victory at the Open Championship at Lytham.
In one of the most surprising turn-arounds in golf, he started the final day six shots behind Australia’s Adam Scott and ended it winning by one. It was ten years after he had won his previous major. Els, the 2002 Open champion and the 1994 and 1997 US Open champion, had dropped to 65th in the world rankings earlier in the year.
South African golf legend Gary Player
, one of only five men to win golf’s grand slam of four major championships, said: “It was an exceptional performance by Ernie Els
. He showed that he is still a force to be reckoned with. I think there would have been very few golf fans on that final day at Lytham who believed he could do it. But it just shows what you can do when you have belief and confidence in your game. I would not be surprised to see Ernie go on and win more majors in the next few years.”
Also nominated with Els for the Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award are the European Ryder Cup Team, after their last day fightback against the United States at Medinah, Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba, who won the Olympic 10 000m following 16 months of injury, Australia’s Anna Meares, who won an Olympic cycling gold medal four years after breaking her neck, Felix Sanchez, at 34, winner of the Olympic 400m hurdles gold medal eight years after he won in Athens, and the Germany men’s Olympic Eights Team, who won an Olympic gold medal for the first time since 1988.
The wards ceremony, which will be attended by the greatest names in sport, past and present, will be staged at the celebrated Theatro Municipal, a spectacular venue in the heart of Rio de Janeiro, which stages gala performances by international dancers and musicians and which also hosted events at Rio +20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012.
The awards will enhance the calendar of major global events that Rio de Janeiro is hosting in the coming years, such as the 2013 World Judo Championship, the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The full list of Nominees for the 2013 Laureus World Sports Awards is:
Laureus World Sportsman of the Year
Usain Bolt (Jamaica) Athletics; Mo Farah (UK) Athletics; Lionel Messi (Argentina) Football; Michael Phelps (US) Swimming; Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Motor Racing; Bradley Wiggins (UK) Cycling
Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year
Jessica Ennis (UK) Athletics; Allyson Felix (US) Athletics: Missy Franklin (US) Swimming; Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Jamaica) Athletics; Lindsey Vonn (US) Skiing; Serena Williams (US) Tennis Laureus World Team of the Year
China Olympic Table Tennis Team; European Ryder Cup Team; Miami Heat (US) Basketball; Red Bull Formula One Team (Austria); Spain Men’s Football Team; US Men’s Basketball Team Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year
Yannick Agnel (France) Swimming; Gabby Douglas (US) Gymnastics; Kirani James (Grenada) Athletics: Andy Murray (UK) Tennis; Neymar (Brazil) Football; Ye Shiwen (China) Swimming Laureus World Comeback of the Year
Tirunesh Dibaba (Ethiopia) Athletics; Ernie Els
(South Africa) Golf; European Ryder Cup Team; Anna Meares (Australia) Cycling; Felix Sanchez (Dominican Republic) Athletics; Germany Men’s Olympic Eights Rowing Team Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability
Patrick Anderson (Canada) Wheelchair Basketball; Johanna Benson (Namibia) Athletics; Daniel de Faria Dias (Brazil) Swimming; Alan Fonteles Oliveira (Brazil) Athletics; David Weir (United Kingdom) Wheelchair Racing; Alex Zanardi (Italy) Hand Cycling
Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year
Felix Baumgartner (Austria) Skydiving; Jamie Bestwick (UK) BMX; Julie Bresset (France) Mountain Biking; Stephanie Gilmore (Australia) Surfing; Joel Parkinson (Australia) Surfing; Philip Köster (Germany) Windsurfing