LAUREUS WORLD SPORTS AWARDS MONACO 2017

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LAUREUS WORLD BREAKTHROUGH OF THE YEAR 2017 NOMINEES

Awarded to the sportsperson or team whose performance as a newcomer suggests the greatest potential for an outstanding career or to an established sportsman or sportswoman who produces a significant step-up in class to a considerably higher level of sporting achievement.

ALMAZ AYANA

(Ethiopia) Athletics

(Ethiopia) Athletics

Broke the world record by over 14 seconds to win the Olympic gold medal in the women's 10,000 metres in Rio. She was running the distance for only the second time and shattered the record set by China’s Junxia Wang 23 years earlier.

FIJI MEN’S RUGBY SEVENS TEAM

(Fiji) Rugby

(Fiji) Rugby

Fiji routed Great Britain 43-7 in the final of the Olympic Sevens to secure the first gold medal the South Pacific nation has ever won in any sport. Captain Osea Kolinisau and his team-mates have been the dominant force in Sevens for several years.

ICELAND MEN’S FOOTBALL TEAM

(Iceland) Football

(Iceland) Football

Beat once powerful England to reach the quarter-finals of Euro 2016, a remarkable success for a nation of 330,000 – eight per cent of whom were in France to watch. Iceland ended the year 21st in the world rankings having risen from 131st in 2012.

LEICESTER CITY

(United Kingdom) Football

(United Kingdom) Football

Starting as 5,000–1 outsiders, Leicester City became the most unlikely champions in the history of the English Premier League. They were managed by Claudio Ranieri, whose previous job ended when his Greece side lost to Faroe Islands.

WAYDE VAN NIEKERK

(South Africa) Athletics

(South Africa) Athletics

Broke one of athletics’ longest standing world records. His 43.03 secs in the 400 metres final in the Rio Olympics bettered Michael Johnson’s 43.18, which had stood since 1999. In the final he beat Olympic champions Kirani James and LaShawn Merritt.

NICO ROSBERG

(Germany) Motor Racing

(Germany) Motor Racing

After finishing second in the Formula One World Championship to Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in 2014 and 2015, Rosberg made the breakthrough in 2016 to win the world title for the first time. He retired five days after the last race in Abu Dhabi.