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Eliud Kipchoge to battle Djokovic, Lewandowski for Laureus award

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Eliud Kipchoge with a previous Laureus award

Marathon World Record holder Eliud Kipchoge is among six final nominees for this year’s Laureus Sportsman of the Year Award.

Kipchoge, who became only the third man in history to win back to back Olympic titles will battle for the title with Formula One World Champion Max Verstappen, FIFA Best Award winner Robert Lewandowski, American swimmer Caeleb Dressel world tennis number one star Novak Djokovic and retired American football star Tom Brady.

Eliud Kipchoge has won a Laureus Award previously, having clinched the Lifetime Achievement crown in 2019 after his Ineos 1:59 run where he became the first man to run a marathon under two hours.

He was also recently awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Sports Personality of the Year Awards (SOYA) for his achievements in Marathon running.

Kipchoge, widely regarded as the Greatest Marathoner of All Time has also said he is weighing in on going for a historic third consecutive Olympic Marathon title, and is gearing towards Paris 2024.

He will battle for the award with a healthy field of competitors.

Lewandowski, who won the FIFA Best Award, is also lined up for this title.

He scored his 41st goal in the Bundesliga for Bayern Munich in the last minute of the last day of the 2020/21 season to surpass Gerd Muller’s record of 40 goals, which dated back to 1971/72.

Lewy also played a key role in Bayern’s ninth successive Bundesliga success and won the European Golden Shoe. He began the 2021/22 season by reaching the landmark of 300 goals for Bayern in all competitions.

On December 17, Lewandowski set the Bundesliga record for most goals in a calendar year with his 43rd goal. He has now scored more than 500 senior career goals for club and country. In November, he finished second in the 2021 Ballon d’Or behind Lionel Messi.

Djokovic is also in line for the award.

Despite his VISA and ani-vax stance that was much of the build up towards this year’s Australian Open, Djokovic has made the shortlist.

In 2021, he won the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon to take his total of career Grand Slam wins to 20, level with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

He also won the Paris Masters and Belgrade Open, and surpassed Roger Federer’s record of 310 weeks as world No.1.

The year ended in something of a disappointment when he lost both the Olympic gold medal match and the US Open final, missing the chance to complete the ‘Calendar Year Grand Slam’ of all four titles and the opportunity to become the first man to win the ‘Golden Slam’ of all four titles and the Olympic gold medal. He is a four-time winner of the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award.

Dutchman Verstappen won his first Formula One World Championship in 2021 after one of the most thrilling contests ever seen in the sport, overtaking seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton at turn five in a nail-biting last lap finish in the final Grand Prix of the season in Abu Dhabi.

Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen. Photo/RacingNews365

The Red Bull driver had 10 wins during the year and a record 18 podium finishes. Belgian-born, the son of former driver Jos Verstappen, he became the youngest ever driver to compete in F1 in 2015 at the Australian Grand Prix, when he was aged 17 years 166 days.

He was also the youngest winner, aged 18 years 228 days, in Barcelona.

Retired American footballer Tom Brady is also in line for the award.

Widely considered to be the greatest quarterback of all time, he won a record seventh Super Bowl in 2021 with Tampa Bay Buccaneers in his tenth Super Bowl appearance.

The first six of his wins were with New England Patriots. Brady’s brilliant career has been a superb example of remarkable longevity in a very tough sport. He is the only quarterback to win a Super Bowl in three different decades.

At 43 years 188 days, he became the oldest to win the Super Bowl as starting quarterback and the oldest to be named Super Bowl MVP.

After a glittering 20-year spell with the Patriots, he moved to the Buccaneers and led them to a comfortable 31-9 win over Kansas City Chiefs and their admired quarterback Patrick Mahomes, throwing three touchdown passes during the match.

American swimmer Dressel is the sixth in the shortlist.

At 24, he was the outstanding male swimmer in the Olympic Games, with five gold medals in Tokyo. He won individual golds in the 50 and 100 metres freestyle and 100m butterfly – the first male swimmer to achieve this treble in the Olympics –  plus relay golds in the 4x100m freestyle and 4x100m medley.

He broke his own world record in the 100m butterfly and was part of the world record breaking medley team. It took his career total to seven Olympic gold medals, having won two in Rio de Janeiro.

He has also won 13 world championship gold medals. He currently holds three long course and six short course world records.

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