Sprint legend Usain Bolt and football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo were nominated but his great rival Lionel Messi missed out on the shortlist for the Laureus World Sports Awards on Wednesday.
Nominees for the World Sports Awards include Rio Olympic heroes Bolt, already three-time Laureus winner Mo Farah, tennis gold medallist Andy Murray, Ronaldo and basketball duo Stephen Curry and LeBron James.
Olympians fill all six nominations for the World Sportsman of the Year Award, including Americans Simone Biles, Katie Ledecky and Allyson Felix, German tennis No.1 Angelique Kerber, Jamaican sprint star Elaine Thompson and British cyclist Laura Kenny.
Swimmer Michael Phelps, the most successful Olympian ever with 28 medals inclusive of 23 golds, heads the nominees in the Laureus World Comeback of the Year category, after winning another five golds and a silver medal in Rio.
Others selected for this award are Spain’s high jumper Ruth Beitia, Argentina’s Davis Cup winner Juan Martin del Potro, British show jumper Nick Skelton, Mauritius triathlete Fabienne St Louis and Norwegian skier Aksel Lund Svindal.
Formula One’s Mercedes AMG Petronas are nominated for the third straight year for the Laureus World Team of the Year Award, along with three football teams; Euro 2016 champions Portugal, Champions League winners Real Madrid and Olympic gold medal winners Brazil. American teams Chicago Cubs, winner of their first baseball World Series for 108 years, and National Basketball Association (NBA) champions Cleveland Cavaliers were also shortlisted.
Driver Nico Rosberg has earned a nomination for the Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award. Joining him are Olympic world record breaking long distance runners Almaz Ayana and Wayde van Niekerk, English Premier League Champions Leicester City, Euro 2016 quarter-finalists Iceland and Olympic Rugby Sevens gold medal winners Fiji.
The eventual winners, as voted for by members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, will be revealed in Monaco on February 14.