Fearnley nominated for Laureus award - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Fearnley nominated for Laureus award

27/02/2007 09:51:24 PM Comments (0)

Reigning Paralympic and World Wheelchair Marathon champion Kurt Fearnley will carry Australia's hopes at the prestigious Laureus World Sports awards after the country's cricketers, women's basketballers, and seven-time world surfing champion Layne Beachley missed nominations.

Fearnley was the lone Australian nominee on the annual awards short-list released.

He will battle for the prize of world sportsperson with a disability following an amazing year in which he won the New York City Marathon and emerged as the dominant force in men's wheelchair racing.

Australia's men's cricket team, which whitewashed England 5-0 to regain the Ashes in emphatic fashion, won all 10 of their Test matches in 2006 and claimed the ICC Champions Trophy, but were overlooked for team of the year.

New Zealand's All Blacks, European soccer champions Barcelona, World Cup winners Italy, Renault's Formula One Team, the European Ryder Cup golf team, and men's basketball World Champion Spain, were all nominated for the award, which Australia's cricket team won in 2002.

Australia's women's basketballers, the Opals, were also overlooked despite winning their first world title in 2006.

Beachley, who claimed her seventh surfing world title and first since 2003 last year, missed nomination for both comeback of the year and action sportsperson.

Among the nominees for comeback of the year were Australian Open winner Serena Williams and 37-year-old boxer Roy Jones Jnr, while eight-times men's surfing world champion Kelly Slater was among the action sportsperson nominees.

Fearnley, who won Paralympic gold in Athens despite having a flat tyre, won four marathons from six starts in 2006.

He survived a crash at the 20km mark in New York to win by more than six minutes in record time.

A record number of leading sports journalists from 128 countries voted this year to select the nominees.

The winners, to be chosen by a specialist panel, will be announced at a ceremony in Barcelona on April 2.

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