Bolt, Biles adjudged Sportspeople of the Year at Laureus 2017

Monte Carlo (Monaco), Feb 15 (IANS) After glittering year for both athletes, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt and American gymnast Simone Biles won the Sportsman and the Sportswoman of the Year titles at the 2017 Laureus World Sports Awards ceremony here.

Bolt won the 100, 200 and 4×100 metres relay gold medals at the Rio Olympics, which saw him come out on top during Tuesday’s ceremony, beating fellow contenders Lebron James, Andy Murray and Cristiano Ronaldo, reports Xinhua news agency.

This was the fourth time that Bolt has won the award after 2009, 2010 and 2013, levelling Swiss tennis superstar Roger Federer’s record.

Biles won four gold medals and a bronze at the Rio Olympics, enabling her to top five other candidates, including American track star Allyson Felix and German tennis player Angelique Kerber in the contest for Sportswoman of the Year.

The Team of the Year award went to Major League Baseball’s Chicago Cubs, who won their first World Series in 108 years, ending one of the longest droughts in the league.

Formula One driver Nico Rosberg of Germany won the Breakthrough of the Year award, after he won the world title for the first time in 2016 before retiring from motor racing.

The Comeback of the Year award was given to swimming legend Michael Phelps, who claimed five gold medals and one silver at the Rio Olympics.

In other awards, the Sportsperson of the Year with a disability award was presented to Italian wheelchair fencing athlete Beatrice Vio, the Action Sportsperson of the Year award went to Rachel Atherton of Britain in Mountain Biking, and the Spirit of Sport award was taken by Premier League defending champions Leicester City.

The newly-founded Best Sporting Moment of the Year, voted on by sports fans worldwide in an online poll, was given to the Barcelona Under-12 team, who consoled their defeated opponents from Japan in the Junior World Soccer Challenge.

The refugee Olympic team at Rio 2016, the first ever in Olympic history, was awarded the Laureus Sports for Good Award for Sporting Inspiration.

The refugee team, made up of 10 athletes from South Sudan, Syria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ethiopia, captured the hearts of people around the world when they walked into the Maracana Stadium at the Rio 2016 opening ceremony, showing their resilience in the face of tremendous hardship.

–IANS

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