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Rediff.com  » Sports » PHOTOS: Vettel, Franklin win top Laureus awards

PHOTOS: Vettel, Franklin win top Laureus awards

March 26, 2014 21:43 IST

PHOTOS: Vettel, Franklin win top Laureus awards

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Germany’s Sebastian Vettel, the youngest four-time Formula One world champion in history at 26, was named Laureus World Sportsman of the Year, US swimmer Missy Franklin, at 18, became the youngest ever winner of the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award, in Kuala Lumpur, on Wednesday.

Vettel had a dream run in 2013, winning 13 Grand Prix including a record nine victories in a row.

The German established himself as one of the greatest drivers of all-time with his fourth straight Formula One World Championship, joining legends Juan Manuel Fangio, Michael Schumacher and Alain Prost, who all won at least four times. At just 26 years and 116 days, Vettel is the youngest ever four-time champion.

Vettel’s success was particularly satisfying for the young German racer, who had been nominated five times for a Laureus Award, before finally winning. He beat stiff competition from Rafael Nadal, Cristiano Ronaldo, Usain Bolt, Mo Farah and LeBron James to win the coveted award.


Image: Sebastian Vettel poses with the trophy after winning the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award
Photographs: Ian Walton/Getty Images for Laureus

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Franklin won four gold medals at London Olympics

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Missy Franklin was the sensation of Barcelona, becoming the first woman in history to win six gold medals at a single World Championships – three individual and three relay - at the age of just 18.

This followed her performance in the London Olympics where she won four gold medals. She continues to refuse prize money and endorsements so that she can maintain her amateur status in college, in the University of California at Berkley, where she is pursuing majors in Psychology.

The Laureus World Sports Awards are the premier honours on the international sporting calendar. The winners are chosen by the Laureus World Sports Academy, the ultimate sports jury, made up of 46 of the greatest living sportsmen and sportswomen.


Image: Missy Franklin receives her Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year award from Laureus Academy Member Mark Spitz
Photographs: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images for Laureus

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Nadal wins Comeback of the Year award

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Tennis superstar and multiple Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal of Spain claimed the Comeback of the Year award.

Nadal returned to tennis after a seven month absence with a knee injury to produce one of his finest years. He missed the Australian, but won the French Open for a record eighth time, confirming his position as probably the greatest clay court player in history.

He also won the US Open, his 13th Grand Slam, regained his No 1 world ranking and won five ATP Masters 1000 tournaments.


Image: Rafael Nadal winner of the Laureus World Comeback of the Year award poses with his trophy
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images for Laureus

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Bayern Munich named Team of the Year

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German football giants Bayern Munich bagged the award in the Team of the Year category.

Bayern Munich became the first club to complete the treble of UEFA Champions League (their fifth win), Bundesliga and German Cup.

In the Bundesliga, they lost just one match and created a host of records: most points in a season (91); highest winning points margin (25); most wins (29); fewest goals conceded (18).

They beat CSKA Moscow 3-1 in November to register a record tenth successive victory in the UEFA Champions League.

Six of their players - Philipp Lahm, Thomas Mueller, Manuel Neuer, Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben and Bastian Schweinsteiger - were nominated for the FIFA Player of the Year.


Image: Paul Breitneris collects the Laureus World Team of the Year award on behalf of Bayern Munich from Johan Cruyff
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images for Laureus

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Indian NGO Magic Bus bags Sport for Good award

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Indian NGO and Laureus Foundation's strategic partner in the country, Magic Bus Foundation, bagged the Sport for Good award, which was received by founder Matthew Spacie.

The Laureus Spirit of Sport Award was won by the Afghanistan Cricket Team, who qualified for the Cricket World Cup for the first time in their history.


Image: Youth Sport Educator Matthew Spacie, winner of the Sport For Good award, for his NGO Magic Bus
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images for Laureus

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Bochet wins Disability Award

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France's ski sensation Marie Bochet received the Disability Award.

Bochet, who suffers from agenesis of the left arm, dominated her sport in 2013 becoming the first athlete to complete a Grand Slam of all five events at one Alpine Skiing World Championships - and she achieved this at the age of just 19. She won Downhill, Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super Combined and Super-G at La Molina in Spain, with a remarkable display of fearless and technical skiing.


Image: Skier Marie Bochet speaks on stage after winning the Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability award
Photographs: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images for Laureus

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Bestwick wins Laureus Action Sports Award

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Britain’s 42-year-old BMX sensation Jamie Bestwick won the Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year Award.

Bestwick is the only athlete in X Games history to win eight straight gold medals, two more than legends such as Tony Hawk and Shaun White. This was his fourth straight Laureus Nomination.  

After receiving his Award at the Istana Budaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Jamie, originally from Nottingham, but now based in the United States, said: "A Laureus Award, something Tony held in such high regard, was a huge goal for me. To finally achieve it means so much. I saw everything that Tony put into his sport, so I worked hard and I hoped I could achieve it, too. And now I have.

"To the Laureus Academy, thank you very much. I’m so honoured."


Image: BMX cyclist Jamie Bestwick speaks on stage after winning the Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year award
Photographs: Ian Walton/Getty Images for Laureus

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Marquez bags Breakthrough of the Year award

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The World Breakthrough of the Year Award went to Spaniard Marc Marquez for winning the World MotoGP Championship at just 20 years and 266 days.

Marquez became the youngest MotoGP world champion when a third place finish at the season-ending Valencia Grand Prix secured him the championship.

He had six wins during the year and became the first to win the title in his debut season since Kenny Roberts in 1978.

Marquez also became the youngest winner of a Grand Prix, in Austin in April, at 20 years 63 days.


Image: Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year winner Marc Marquez poses with his trophy
Photographs: Paul Gilham/Getty Images

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