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Vinesh Phogat becomes first Indian athlete to be nominated in Laureus World Comeback of Year Award

Indian star wrestler Vinesh Phogat has become the first Indian athlete to be nominated for the prestigious Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award. Phogat has been nominated for the award alongside US Tour Championship winner Tiger Woods, who won his first tournament in five years.

Jan 18, 2019 15:33 IST
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Indian star wrestler Vinesh Phogat on January 17, 2019 became the first Indian athlete to be nominated for the prestigious Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award.

Vinesh has been nominated in “Laureus World Sporting Comeback” category for the year 2019 and will be competing for the award with some of the world’s greatest sportspersons including golfer Tiger Woods, Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris, American alpine ski racer Lindsey Vonn, Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Manyu and Dutch para-snowboarding star Bibian Mentel-Spee.

The Awards will be presented on February 18, 2019 in Monaco, a tiny independent city-state on France’s Mediterranean coastline.

Key Highlights

Phogat has been nominated for the award alongside US Tour Championship winner Tiger Woods, who won his first tournament in five years.  

The 24-year-old from Haryana made a sensational comeback in 2018 after battling a long injury lay-off.

She not only won gold at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games but also won a silver in the 2018 Asian Championships in Bishkek and a gold at the Asian Games in Jakarta.

Phogat was one of the favourites to win a medal for India at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but a horrific knee injury forced her out of the tournament during the quarter-finals.

Though the injury was viewed virtually as a death sentence for her career, the wrestler steadily worked her way back to fitness.

She won gold at the CWG and went on to dominate the field at the Asiad, dropping just two points and spending a little over 11 minutes on the mat, which took her through to the final.

Aged just 24, she was one of the nominees for the Padma Shri award in 2018 and is expected to be a favourite to win a medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Other Nominees

Football stars, Croatia’s Luka Modric and French footballer Kylian Mbappe have been nominated for the ‘Laureus Sportsman of the Year award’ along with tennis star Novak Djokovic, American basketball player LeBron James, Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton and Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge.

On the other hand, the nominees for ‘Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year’ include American gymnast, Romanian tennis world no.1 Simona Halep, Wimbledon winner Angelique Kerber, Swiss triathlete Daniela Ryf, Czech snowboard Ester Ledecka and American alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin.

About Laureus World Sports Awards

  Vinesh Phogat becomes first Indian athlete to be nominated in Laureus World Comeback of Year Award

The Laureus World Sports Awards is an annual awards ceremony, which honours individuals and teams from the world of sports along with sporting achievements throughout the year.

It was established in 1999 by Laureus Sport for Good Foundation founding patrons Daimler and Richemont and supported by its global partners Mercedes-Benz and IWC Schaffhausen.

The awards support the work of Laureus Sport for Good, which supports over 100 community projects in around 40 countries. These projects aim to use the power of sport to end violence, discrimination and disadvantage, and prove that sport has the power to change the world.

The name "Laureus" is derived from the Greek word for laurel, considered a traditional symbol of victory in athletics.

The first awards ceremony was held on May 25, 2000 in Monte Carlo at which Nelson Mandela gave the keynote speech.

The awards are given annually in eight categories, with a number of discretionary categories irregularly recognised.

The recipient of each award is presented with a Laureus statuette, created by Cartier, at an annual ceremony held in various locations around the world.

Swiss tennis player Roger Federer with 6 awards holds the record for having won the maximum number of times.

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