Djokovic, Serena win the Laureus World Sports awards
Tennis superstars Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams claimed the top accolades at the 2016 Laureus World Sports Awards. Djokovic was named Laureus World Sportsman of the Year and Serena, World Sportswoman of the Year. Djokovic reached all four grand slam finals in 2015, winning three, a feat emulated by Serena, who also held onto the world No. 1 ranking all year.
Since its inception in 2000, the annual Laureus World Sports Awards celebrate the most remarkable men and women from the world of sport. The Awards Ceremony consists of 7 categories with the potential for additional discretionary Awards given. Each winner receives the Laureus Statuette, crafted by Cartier, with its representation of the striving human form against an engraved representation of the continents.
Laureus Awards Categories include : Sportsman of the Year, Sportswoman of the Year, Team of the Year, Comeback of the Year, Breakthrough of the Year, Action Sportsperson of the Year and Sportsperson of the Year with a disability. First five categories' nominees are voted by Laureus Nominations Panel composed of professional sports editors, writers and broadcasters. Last two categories are chosen by specialist panels.
The Laureus World Sports Awards Ceremony took place on April 18 at the Messe Berlin Palais am Funkturm, situated in the heart of Berlin. The ceremony was hosted by Hollywood actor Bill Murray.
Laureus World Team of the Year trophy went to New Zealand rugby team who won the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Coach Steve Hansen, winning skipper Richie McCaw received the award on team's behalf. All Blacks beat NBA champions Golden State Warriors, Mercedes Formula One team, Britain's Davis Cup tennis team, football giants Barcelona and women's football world champions the United States, to win it.
Comeback of the Year was won by New Zealand's rugby player Dan Carter, who helped the All Blacks become 2015 champions after missing the 2011 final because of injury.
US golfer Jordan Spieth, who won the 2015 US Masters and US Open won the Breakthrough of the Year award. German triathlete Jan Frodeno, who became World Ironman champion won the Action Sportsperson of the Year trophy. Brazil's Paralympic swimmer Daniel Dias was named Sportsperson of the year with a disability after winning seven golds at the IPC Swimming World Championships.
Laureus Spirit of Sport Award was presented posthumously to legendary Dutch footballer Johan Cruyff, who died of cancer on 24 March 2016. The Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award was given to three-time Formula One world champion Niki Lauda and the Laureus Sport for Good Award went to Kenya's Moving the Goalposts football project. Barcelona star Lionel Messi was named the athlete of the year
Djokovic's Sportsman of the Year award is a third one for him having picked it up previously in 2012 and 2015. This was also Serena's third Laureus Sportswoman of the Year award (previous wins in 2003,2010).