Tennis star Novak Djokovic, record-breaking gymnast Simone Biles, golfing legend Tiger Woods and the World Cup champion French football team bagged the top honours at the 2019 Laureus World Sports Awards.
Djokovic fought off tough competition from the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Eliud Kipchoge and LeBron James to win the Laureus ‘World Sportsman of the Year Award’ on Monday night.
Djokovic, who won the last three Grand Slams including the Australian Open last month, after returning from elbow surgery, equalled the great Usain Bolt by winning the top Laureus award for the fourth time. Roger Federer has won it a record five times.
“Last year was an incredible season for me, returning from injury to win Wimbledon and the US Open is something I’ll remember forever. I am delighted and I would like to thank the Laureus Academy for their support,” said the Serbian.
The Laureus World Sports Academy made up of 68 global sporting legends volunteered their time to vote for the winners in each shortlisted category which recognises sporting achievement in 2018.
The Awards were hosted by actor James Marsden and featured entertainment from Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Jorja Smith.
Gymnast Simone Biles was crowned ‘Sportswoman of the Year’ after her record-breaking performance at the World Championships, in which she won four gold, one silver and one bronze medal.
Biles, who also won the same Award in 2017, made history last year by becoming the first woman to win four all-around world championships. At just 21, she now has a record 14 career world titles.
Osaka, 21, who is now number one in the world after recently winning the Australian Open, makes history as Japan’s first Award winner.
Golfing star Woods won his third Laureus Award, after winning the ‘Sportsman of the Year’ accolade in 2000 and 2001.
The Laureus Academy recognised marathon world record breaker Eliud Kipchoge with the Exceptional Achievement Award. Legendary football manager Arsene Wenger received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to football during his 22 years as manager of Arsenal.