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Vivian Cheruiyot and Oscar Pistorius win Laureus World Sports Awards

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Kenyan long distance runner, Vivian Cheruiyot and South Africa’s ‘Blade Runner’, Oscar Pistorius made Africa proud winning awards at the just ended Laureus World Sports Awards.  The winners of the 2012 Laureus World Sports Awards were unveiled at a globally televised Awards Ceremony in London on Monday evening.

Oscar Pistorius, dubbed the ‘Blade Runner’ because he uses carbon fibre blades, was presented with the Laureus Disability Award, after becoming the first amputee to win a track medal in the non-disabled World Championships, a silver in the 4 x 400 metres relay. The Laureus Sportswoman of the Year Award went to Kenya’s extraordinary distance runner Vivian Cheruiyot, who won both 5,000 and 10,000 metres gold medals at the World Championships in Daegu. Among the highlights were a record-equalling fourth Laureus Award for US surfer Kelly Slater and a double success for Northern Ireland golf with both Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy being honoured. FC Barcelona at last won the Laureus Team of the Year Award after their fourth Nomination. The Laureus World Sports Awards are the premier honours on the international sporting calendar.   The winners are chosen by the Laureus World Sports Academy, the ultimate sports jury, made up of 47 of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of all time. Serbia’s Novak Djokovic was acclaimed Laureus World Sportsman of the Year after his remarkable 2011 when he won three Grand Slam events – the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open – and took away the tennis world No 1 ranking from Rafael Nadal. Winners of the Champions League and the Spanish League in the 2010/11 season, under coach Pep Guardiola, FC Barcelona won the Laureus World Team of the Year Award. Northern Ireland golf celebrated two Awards. Brilliant young star Rory McIlroy, 22, was named winner of the Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award after winning the US Open, his first Major Championship, while Darren Clarke received the Laureus Comeback Award after his Open Championship victory at Royal St.George’s at his 20th attempt and at the age of 42. American surfing giant Kelly Slater was named Laureus Action Sportsperson of the Year. It was his fourth Laureus Award, equalling the record of Roger Federer, the only other four-time winner. England football legend Bobby Charlton was awarded the Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his remarkable career. Former Brazilian international footballer Raí, now a campaigner for social justice, won the Laureus Sport for Good Award. Meanwhile, Sir Bobby Charlton was unable to receive the Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award in person at the Laureus World Sports Awards in London this evening. Sir Bobby felt unwell on Sunday and returned to Manchester earlier today for minor surgery. Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said ‘Sir Bobby is fine, but it was felt he should go back to Manchester. He is very annoyed not to be here to receive this Award. I’ll be taking the Statuette back to Old Trafford for him. He loves the work he does for Laureus and I know how delighted he is to have received this tribute.” Edwin Moses, Chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy, said: “On behalf of my fellow members I would like to congratulate Sir Bobby on this well-deserved Award. He is one of the most enthusiastic Academy Members and has done some great work over the years to help young people. He was in good form in our Academy Meeting and contributed on a range of issues. It’s a shame we were not able to congratulate him in person. Next time we are all together we will be giving him a huge round of applause on behalf of the sports fans of the world.” Among the other guests present from the world of entertainment and fashion were Bryan Ferry who performed on stage as well as segment host British actress Thandie Newton, Spanish actress Elsa Pataky, American actor Luke Wilson and Israeli actress and model Bar Refaeli. Other sports guests included:  Schalk Burger Jr, Paul Collingwood, David Coulthard, Johan Cruyff, Lawrence Dallaglio, Daniel Dias, Cadel Evans, Alex Ferguson, Ruud Gullit, Gavin Hastings, Tim Henman, Kelly Holmes, Petra Kvitova, Lennox Lewis, Barry McGuigan, Matthew Pinsent, Oscar Pistorius, Alan Shearer, Edwin van der Sar, Esther Vergeer, Patrick Vieira, Andre Villas-Boas and Arsene Wenger. Full list of winners: Laureus World Sportsman of the Year: Novak Djokovic Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year: Vivian Cheruiyot Laureus World Team of the Year: FC Barcelona Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year: Rory McIlroy Laureus World Comeback of the Year: Darren Clarke Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability: Oscar Pistorius Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year: Kelly Slater The Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award : Bobby Charlton and  Raí Souza Vieira de Oliveira]]>

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