SPOTY: Who are the nominees for the World Sport Star award?
The BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony will take place later this month (December 20th), and along with the main award, which seven-time Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton is the favourite to win according to the Sports Personality of the Year odds, there are also awards for the best coach and team, Greatest Sporting Moment of the Year, and World Sport Star – to name just a few.
The nominees for the World Sport Star award were recently revealed, and we have taken an in-depth look at who is in the running for this year’s title. So, read on to find out more.
Armand Duplants – Athletics
Pole vaulter Armand Duplants has had an incredible 2020. The Swedish national broke the world record twice in seven days back at the beginning of the year – the second of which saw him scale a huge 6.18m at the Indoor Grand Prix in Glasgow. More recently, ‘Mondo’, as he is often referred as, broke the outdoor record, leaping a massive 6.15m in Italy at the Diamond League event in September.
Dustin Johnson – Golf
2020 saw Dustin Johnson finally get his hands on the iconic Masters green jacket. He had to wait an extra seven months, as the coronavirus delayed the tournament from its usual mid-April dates to November, but for the American it was well worth it. He quashed the historic Augusta National course, carding a record-breaking 20 under par, and winning the tournament by some five shots. Johnson also earned his place back at the top of the world rankings earlier in the season, landed the FedEx Cup and was awarded the PGA Tour Player of the Year accolade.
Lebron James – Basketball
American Basketball star Lebron James helped guide the LA Lakers to NBA Championship glory this year. The Lakers beat James’ former side Miami Heat in the final, which took place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Florida, for their 17th championship. For ‘King James’ it was a fourth triumph and, when he was revealed as the Finals most valuable player, he became the first player in the sports history to be named MVP with three different franchises (Heat, Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers).
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Khabib Nurmagomedov – UFC
32-year-old Khabib Nurmagomedov defended and unified the UFC Lightweight Championship when he defeated American Justin Gaethje at Fight Island, Adu Dhabi, on October 24th. The Russian, who won via a trademark submission, extended his unblemished record to 29-0, and was awarded the Performance of the Night. Afterwards, Khabib, whose father passed away as a result of COVID-19, announced his retirement from the sport.
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However, rumours are rife that we are yet to see the back of him.
Wendie Renard – Football
French footballer Wendie Renard captained Lyon to Champions League glory for an incredible fifth time in a row, as her side beat German outfit Wolfsburg 3-1 in the final. Domestically, the 30-year-old spurred the French side on to their 14th-successive league triumph and she also lifted the French Cup for the ninth time in her trophy-laden career. On the individual side of things, Renard found herself in the UEFA Team of the season and on the shortlist for The Best FIFA Women’s player.
Katie Taylor – Boxing
Irish boxer Katie Taylor continued to dominate the lightweight division in 2020, defending her wealth of titles on two separate occasions. The first of which saw her beat Belgian fighter Delfine Persoon via a unanimous decision at Matchroom Fight Camp, while the second defence of her WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO and The Ring belts saw her reign victorious over Spain’s Miriam Gutiérrez at the SSE Arena, Wembley – again on the judges’ scorecards. Taylor extended her professional record to 17-0.