Rossi is nominated for "Sportsman Of The Year".

A glittering collection of the world's greatest sports stars have been nominated for the 10th Laureus World Sports Awards, following a ballot by the world's media. Many of the nominations reflect the highly successful Olympic and Paralympic Games held in Beijing. 

    Among the major contests between Olympians for Laureus Awards which have been triggered by the votes of the media from 112 countries are: 

    -The Fastest Man on Earth Usain Bolt against swimming's medal machine Michael Phelps for the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year title 

    -Pole vault legend Yelena Isinbayeva competes with 5,000 & 10,000 metres double gold medallist Tirunesh Dibaba for Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year 

    -And there is a three-way battle for the Laureus World Team of the Year Award between the Chinese Olympic Team, the Jamaican Sprint Team and the British Cycle Team. 

    But it is by no means certain to be an Olympic walkover for the 2009 Laureus World Sports Awards. There are many other strong contenders after a scintillating year of sporting action. In motor sport, Britain's Lewis Hamilton became the youngest ever Formula One World Champion, Germany's Sebastian Vettel was the youngest winner of a Grand Prix and Italy's Valentino Rossi won his sixth senior Moto GP World Championship.Football's charismatic Cristiano Ronaldo and the Spain national team, which won the European Championship, have both been nominated, as has Mexico's Lorena Ochoa, who once again dominated women's golf, and five-times Wimbledon winner Venus Williams.

    Including Hamilton, Isinbayeva and Rossi, no fewer than eight previous recipients of Laureus Awards have been short-listed again. The others are Rafael Nadal, Kelly Slater, Shaun White, Tiger Woods and British football club Manchester United. For American golfer Woods, it is a record eighth nomination, on this occasion in the Laureus Comeback category.

    Among the other Olympians nominated are Chinese gymnast Zou Kai and swimmers Rebecca Adlington from Britain and Australia's Stephanie Rice. Holland's Maarten van der Weijden, who won anOlympic swimming gold medal after beating leukaemia, and Australian silver medallist Anna Meares, who broke her neck in a cycle crash just eight months before the Olympics, are among the nominees for the Laureus Comeback Award.

    Brazilian swimmer Daniel Dias,20,is nominated for the Laureus Disability Award for the second year after he was leading medal winner at the Beijing Paralympic Games, while legendary American surfer Kelly Slater, 36, is nominated for Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year after winning a ninth world title.

    Laureus World Sportsman of the Year

    Usain Bolt (Jamaica) - first man to win 100m, 200m & 4x100m Olympic gold medals in world records
    Lewis Hamilton (UK) - youngest ever Formula One World Champion at 23 years and 300 days
    Rafael Nadal (Spain) - won French Open, Wimbledon & Olympic gold medal to become tennis No.1
    Michael Phelps (US) - won eight gold medals in a single Olympiad to overtake Mark Spitz's record
    Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) - FIFA World Player of the Year, scored 42 goals for Manchester United
    Valentino Rossi (Italy) - beat Giacomo Agostini's record 68 500cc wins, and won 6th senior world title 

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